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PERSONAL INJURY

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Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Philadelphia PA

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Philadelphia PA

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Philadelphia PA

 When families make the decision to place their loved ones in a nursing home, it is usually because they need more care than the family is able to provide. Many elderly people required around-the-clock care because of age and medical conditions, making it almost impossible for a family member to be the primary caretaker. So, the family will find what they hope is a nursing home in Pennsylvania and entrust the care of their loved one to the staff of the home. Unfortunately, far too many families discover their loved one’s care is being neglected. In these cases, a nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia, PA clients recommend should be contacted.

The effect aging has on an elderly person’s physical and mental abilities leaves them especially vulnerable. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), one in six seniors are victim of some type of abuse. Even more alarming is that two out of three healthcare workers that provide aid to the elderly admit to having abused a senior in their care. This abuse can have a significant impact on a nursing home resident’s health, so it is imperative that family members learn to recognize the red flags that indicate abuse or neglect is taking place. A nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia, PA advises to watch for the following:

  • Signs of physical abuse: There are many ways that a resident can be subjected to physical abuse, including pinching, hitting, slapping, and even refusing care. Watch for any bruises or cuts. If your loved one has broken a bone, make sure to question staff thoroughly to find out the specifics of how the incident occurred.
  • Signs of emotional abuse: Emotional abuse doesn’t have the obvious marks that physical abuse does, but there are still signs that it could be happening to your loved one. Some of the more common are sudden changes in personality, depression, and anxiety. Also, take note if your loved one becomes quiet or uncomfortable around certain staff members. That can indicate those staff members are the ones who are abusing your loved one.
  • Signs of neglect: As mentioned above, the majority of seniors are in nursing homes because their families are unable to provide the care they need. The expectation is that the nursing home will do that. It is also the law and requirement in order to keep their license to operate. If the resident is not getting enough food, water, personal hygiene care, and medical care, they are victims of nursing home neglect. Bedsores, weight loss, changes in appearance, skin that is paper-like in appearance, are all signs of neglect.  

Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm for Help

If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact Wieand Law Firm, LLC immediately to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Philadelphia, PA nursing home abuse lawyer to find out what legal recourse your family has.

Falls in Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are tasked with caring for a frail elderly population. Many nursing home residents require hands-on assistance with care to prevent injury from falls. Despite the promise of care, many nursing homes fail to implement measures to prevent resident injury from falls. Unfortunately, each year between 50-75% of nursing home residents sustains a fall. While many of these falls result in no injuries, about 10-20% of these falls result in serious injury, including fractures, lacerations, and hematomas.

Fall Prevention

When a resident is admitted to a nursing home, they should quickly be assessed for fall risk. There are several standardized risk assessment tools available, and these risk assessments typically include risk factors such as a history of falls, cognition, incontinence, vision, balance, comorbidities, and medications. Because the risk for injury from a fall is significant, a fall risk assessment should be completed within the first 24 hours of admission. Once a resident is identified as a fall risk, the nursing home is required to implement proactive interventions to minimize the risk of falls and injury. These interventions might include participation in physical or occupational therapy, non-slip footwear, and environmental modifications. Fall prevention interventions must be personalized to fit the residents’ needs; standard “cookie-cutter” approaches applied to all residents are not effective.

Causes of Falls in Nursing Homes

Our Philadelphia PA nursing home abuse lawyer shares that because the residents of our nation’s nursing homes are frail and have significant health issues, they are more prone than the average population of older adults to sustain a fall. Muscle weakness and gait problems are frequent cause of falls among nursing home residents, accounting for about 24% of falls. Loss of strength and mobility that leads to falls frequently occurs when a nursing home does not provide the opportunity for a resident to maintain their functional abilities through programs such as restorative ambulation or “walk to dine” programs.

Environmental hazards are a significant cause of falls for nursing home residents. Residents are at risk of falls when the nursing home fails to maintain adequate lighting levels, set the bed height appropriately, or provide a wheelchair that is properly fitted for the resident. Additionally, wet floors and tripping hazards, such as floor mats left on the floor while the resident is out of bed, pose additional risks.

Inappropriate or duplicative medication therapy can increase fall risk and injuries from falls. Medications such as anxiolytics, sedatives, and narcotics are known to increase the risk of falls in older adults. Nursing homes that fail to recognize that residents on multiple medications for the same condition (for example, a resident who has both Ativan and Buspar for anxiety) put that resident at high risk for falls with injury.

If your loved one has fallen

While not all falls in nursing homes can be prevented, many falls could or should have been. When a facility fails to avoid a preventable fall, serious injuries can occur. Injuries sustained during a fall – such as fractures and subdural hematomas – can have lasting or permanent effects on the resident’s function, mobility, and independence. Additional medical care and treatments needed for post-fall care can also have a devastating impact on an elderly’s resident’s finances.

Take the first step to protect your loved one

By contacting a nursing home injury lawyer, you can take the first step in pursuing fair compensation for the pain and devastation caused by unnecessary fall injuries. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC, will take the time to listen, review your unique situation, and provide the skilled advice you need to take action.

To speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer Philadelphia, PA residents recommend, contacting the Wieand Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Managing Nursing Home Abuse

If you suspect that your aging parent or loved one is experiencing abuse while in the care of a nursing home, you may require the guidance of a nursing home abuse lawyer Philadelphia PA families depend on. Choosing a nursing home is not something that families take lightly, and chances are there were several reasons you and your family chose nursing home care for your aging family member. However, we share that there are several types of abuse that an older adult might be susceptible to when cared for in a nursing home facility. While there are many excellent facilities, the sad reality is that some nursing homes do not take proper care of their residents. Families must protect their loved ones by taking immediate action to protect their loved ones by ensuring their safety and contacting the Wieand Law Firm, LLC, might be appropriate. 

Common Reasons Families Choose Nursing Homes

Deciding to place your aging family member in a nursing home was probably an incredibly difficult decision to reach. However, taking action was probably critical for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Care provided by family has become more than they can handle
  • Your loved one is unable to care for themselves and requires assistance with daily living
  • They need more intensive medical care or suffer from long-term disease
  • It is not safe for them to remain in the home or receive care from a loved one
  • Caregivers are experiencing feelings of stress and are overwhelmed

In most cases, choosing a qualified nursing home should provide your family member with quality services: 24-hour support, medication management, recreational activities, socialization, personal care, and, in some cases, rehabilitative services and care for special needs.

Abuse Comes in Many Forms

Our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania nursing home abuse lawyer knows that entrusting a nursing home and their staff to care for your loved one probably wasn’t something taken lightly by your family. When you choose a nursing home, you expect that they will provide them with exemplary care. Unfortunately, poor administration, low staffing, overworked, underpaid, and underqualified staff are all reasons nursing home residents may suffer from abuse. There are several types of abuse, such as:

  • Physical abuse: hitting, pushing, unexplained injuries or unnecessary restraints
  • Financial abuse: stealing money or valuables and, taking control of finances unnecessarily
  • Neglect: isolation, poor hygiene, lack of socialization, medication mismanagement, lack of food, general lack of care
  • Sexual abuse: unwanted touching, tears, lesions or bruising near genitals, unexplainable STDs
  • Emotional abuse: verbal abuse, not allowing the family to visit, not allowing residents normal freedoms, preventing access to resources

It’s incredibly common for the abuser to be employed within the confines of the nursing home. Families who suspect harm may feel completely powerless. However, it will be critical for the family to take immediate action to prevent further abuse. 

5 Steps to Take if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

Recognizing that your loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse can be a devastating and difficult to comprehend. Many families who witness signs of nursing home abuse feel unsure of what steps to take or how to help. This list will help you capably take the steps needed to make sure the suspected abuse is investigated and ensure that your loved one is safe and protected.

1. Call the Police

If you suspect that a crime has been committed against a nursing home resident, the first step to take is to contact the police. Crimes against older adults, such as physical assault, sexual assault, or financial abuse, occur all too frequently. It’s critical to involve the proper local authorities to assure that a potential criminal act is thoroughly investigated.

The Elder Justice Act requires that nursing home staff members report suspected crimes and abuse of older adults. However, not all nursing homes fulfill the required reporting. Nursing home abuse lawyers Philadelphia PA counts on for these cases highly recommend that you personally notify local authorities if you suspect a crime against an older adult who is living in a nursing home.

2. Contact the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging investigates nursing home abuse. According to the Department, common signs of abuse may include bruises, broken bones, weight loss, and unusual withdrawals from bank accounts.

The department operates a 24-hour elder abuse hotline. Reporters may remain anonymous and have legal protection for retaliation and discrimination. You can contact the Pennsylvania Department of Aging Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-490-8505 to report suspected abuse or neglect of a nursing home resident. The Pennsylvania Department of Aging is responsible to investigate this report within 72 hours.

3. Report a Concern the Pennsylvania Department of Health

File a complaint of abuse or neglect with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. This Department is responsible for regulatory monitoring of nursing homes through performance of annual inspections. These inspections help assure that nursing homes follow state and local regulations, including regulations on nursing home abuse and neglect.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is also responsible for investigating nursing home concerns and complaints. You can report a concern by:

  1. Calling 1-800-254-5164
  2. Email c-ncomplai@pa.gove
  3. Fax 717-772-2163
  4. Via mail: Division of Nursing Care Facilities Director, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Division of Nursing Care Facilities, 625 Forster St, Room 526, Health and Welfare Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120

4. Notify the Nursing Home Administrator

Federal regulations state that nursing home residents have the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse. Once the nursing home administrator is notified of suspected resident abuse, they are required to take immediate steps to protect residents and investigate the allegation.

If possible, speak to the nursing home administrator directly to demand an immediate investigation of any suspected abuse or neglect. Request a grievance form or follow-up from the conversation via email so that your concern is lodged in writing.

Even if an alleged violation was reported to law enforcement, a nursing home is required to fully conduct its own internal investigation. In Pennsylvania, the results of the investigation must be submitted within 5 working days of the incident to the PA Department of Health.

5. Call a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Help

The nursing home abuse lawyers Philadelphia PA trusts at the Wieand Law Firm. Our attorneys are well-versed in both federal and state regulations governing nursing homes, and we know how to hold nursing homes liable when residents suffer from preventable abuse and neglect.

Our firm offers a free claim evaluation to help you understand your legal rights and options. If you decide to pursue a claim, our lawyers work under a contingency fee agreement. This means that our law firm bears all financial risk in the case, and we don’t earn any fees unless we win money for your claim.

 

If your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse, it’s critical to act quickly to ensure their safety. No resident should have to suffer from nursing home abuse and neglect. The nursing home abuse lawyers Philadelphia PA counts on at the Wieand Law Firm are relentless advocates for nursing home neglect victims and their families. Call 215-666-7777 or send a message via the online firm to speak directly with an attorney.

Taking Action

Having the ability to recognize signs of abuse is critical when an aging loved one receives care from a nursing home. This can not only protect your loved one but can help to prevent possible mistreatment. If your loved one has been injured or suffered losses due to abuse in a nursing home facility, you may have the ability to take legal action against the liable party. To learn more about how Wieand Law Firm, LLC, can help you hold those who caused harm accountable, contact our nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia, PA to schedule a consultation.

When you would like to bring a lawsuit against a nursing home for abuse or neglect, you are likely wondering who is the nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Wieand Law Firm, LLC would like to help you with your lawsuit. We understand that it can be hard to understand how a caregiver at a nursing home could abuse your loved one. Your loved one should not be suffering from abuse or neglect and you may be wondering what you can do when it comes to proving damages. If this situation sounds familiar, do not wait any longer. We are known for having one of the Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers and we would like to help you now. Give us a call to schedule your appointment. 

How do I file a civil lawsuit?

As one of the nursing home abuse lawyers in Philadelphia knows, one of the first steps you need to take for pursuing a claim is to speak with an attorney. While you are under no obligation to hire an attorney, we understand this area of the law because it is our specialty. You want to ensure that you work with someone who does not focus on another area of the law (like divorce or truck accidents) because they will not have the knowledge it takes when fighting on your behalf. 

First, we will work to file a complaint with the court clerk. The nursing home we are filing against will then take similar action and we will be in the discovery period. During this time, we would gather witnesses and exchange documents with the nursing home’s legal team. It is possible that before ever going to court, we may reach some type of resolution that you and your family would be happy with. If this is the case, we would not need to pursue the matter any further. 

On the other hand, we may end up going to trial. When this happens, we will need to prove certain elements. This is where it is particularly handy to research the nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia. We will need to show:

  • The nursing home your loved one resided in owed them a duty of care. This should not be difficult since that would be written into the contract.
  • The nursing home failed to live up to this duty of care by doing something they should not (like abuse) or not doing something they should have done (like neglect). 
  • Because of the actions of the nursing home, your loved one has suffered from harm. 

Are you looking for a nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia?

If you want to find a nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, do not hesitate to call Wieand Law Firm, LLC. 


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