5 Questions to Help Your Family Avoid Nursing Home Negligence

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Jun 20, 2016 2:15:01 PM

The decision to put a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult one, and families sometimes struggle to figure out where to start. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse statistics show that hundreds of thousands of seniors suffer from nursing home negligence and nursing home abuse every year. It is important to thoroughly vet a nursing home before choosing it. The following questions can help you to narrow down your search:

  1. Nursing_home_questions.pngIs this nursing home easily accessible to me and other family members and friends? Try to find a nursing home that is located near friends or family of the individual entering the nursing home. This will enable people to check in on their loved one frequently. Also, be sure to inquire about the home’s visitation policy. Different facilities have different visiting hours and schedules.

  2. What will the financial burden of this nursing home be? Cost is always a factor when choosing a nursing home. Discuss with your loved one’s insurance company what care will be covered and what the out-of-pocket responsibility will be.

  3. Does this nursing home offer the specialized care and facilities that your loved one may require? Different nursing homes are equipped to handle different types of medical, physical, and psychological needs. Talk with your loved one and his or her doctors to determine what services are necessary.

  4. What is the quantity and quality of the staff? Find out what the staff to patient ratio is, as well as the nurse to patient ratio. Depending on your loved one’s unique needs, he/she may require a facility with more staff and individualized attention. Also look into what training staff members are required to have and whether or not the facility conducts background checks on its staff members.

A checklist can also help families to compare nursing homes throughout their search. However, despite families’ best efforts, nursing home abuse continues to occur. If you or a loved one has suffered from nursing homes abuse, contact our nursing home lawyers for help. The Anapol Weiss attorneys can help you to protect your loved one’s rights, especially if they are unable to advocate for themselves.

Topics: Nursing Home Abuse

Pennsylvania DOH Taking a Closer Look at Nursing Home Complaints  

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Mar 30, 2016 11:30:00 AM
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The Pennsylvania Department of Health is increasing enforcement of quality care issues in nursing homes following criticism that some residents in the state are not receiving adequate care. 

Last year, the state Health Department put twice as many nursing home licenses on provisional status, and it issued 32 fines – that’s triple the number of fines in 2014. In addition to recently adding state nursing home surveyors, the Department of Health also formed a Nursing Home Quality Improvement Task Force and started collaborating more closely with other agencies.

The spike in state enforcement comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed in July by the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office against Golden Living Center homes, a national nursing home chain with 36 facilities in Pennsylvania. The suit alleged a range of problems and noted that inspectors had identified several flaws in patient care that did not result in punishment. Some of the nursing home neglect complaints included:

  • residents not receiving showers or other hygiene services as required,
  • residents not being escorted to the dining hall and sometimes missing meals entirely,
  • long waits for responses to call bells or no responses at all.

Since reversing a 2012 decision to reject anonymous complaints, the department has received a staggering number of reports of problems and taken more disciplinary actions. In 2015, it received 2,600 reports – up from 1,930 the prior year. About one third of those reports were substantiated.

Despite the increase in state enforcement, those who suspect their loved one is being abused are urged to contact an experienced law firm right away.

The attorneys at Anapol Weiss are dedicated to helping nursing home abuse victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey get answers and seek justice. Contact us for assistance if you suspect your loved one is suffering from abuse, neglect or mistreatment. We can investigate the situation and answer any questions you may have.

Topics: Nursing Home Abuse

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Mar 8, 2016 3:30:00 PM

Hundreds of thousands of elderly individuals are abused, neglected and exploited every year, according to estimates by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging (AOA). Victims are often vulnerable and helpless; it is up to their loved ones to recognize the signs of nursing home negligence and abuse and take action immediately to stop it from continuing.

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Elder abuse generally refers to an intentional or negligent act by a caregiver or other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to an elderly person. Below are signs that suggest a person may be the victim of nursing home abuse.

Physical Abuse, Neglect or Mistreatment

  • Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions and/or burns
  • Bedsores
  • Unattended medical needs, poor hygiene and/or unusual weight loss
  • Strained or tense relationships and/or frequent arguments between the caregiver and elder

Emotional Abuse

  • Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities
  • Sudden change in alertness and/or unusual depression
  • Behavior such as belittling, threats and other uses of power and control

Sexual Abuse

  • Bruises around the breasts or genital area

Exploitation

  • Sudden changes in financial situations

A single sign does not necessarily indicate abuse, but it can be an indication that there may be a problem. Loved ones should be watchful of changes in an elder’s personality or behavior and report concerns to their specific state's Department of Health/Division of Nursing Care Facilities.

Anapol Weiss represents nursing home abuse victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping victims and their families get answers and seek justice for abuse, neglect and mistreatment. Contact our firm for assistance if you suspect your loved one is being harmed in a nursing home. We can investigate the situation and answer any questions you may have.

 

Topics: Nursing Home Abuse

When a Nursing Home Patient Leaves Unsupervised

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Feb 23, 2016 11:30:00 AM

nursing_home_security_flaw.jpgNursing homes have security to protect residents from harm. Door alarms, surveillance cameras and security staff prevent patients – especially those suffering from dementia – from being able to leave the premises alone and getting hurt.

Unsupervised patients are at risk for:

  • Assault
  • Dehydration
  • Heat stroke
  • Hypothermia
  • Traffic dangers

Once outside the facility, patients can fall and sustain catastrophic head and neck injuries. In addition to these hazards, missing medication doses can be detrimental to a patient’s health as time goes by. These and other problems are entirely preventable when nursing home security works the way it is intended.

Contact our firm for assistance if your loved one was harmed after leaving a nursing home unsupervised. Our team can investigate the situation and answer any legal questions you may have.

Topics: Nursing Home Abuse

Elder Abuse and Neglect: A Nationwide Problem

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Feb 2, 2016 3:30:00 PM

A nursing home should always be a place for seniors to feel safe and protected. Unfortunately, many nursing homes have been found to mistreat some of their residents. In addition to these appalling and inexcusable actions, family and friends may never find out their loved one is being hurt.

elder_abuse_in_the_us.jpgElder abuse involves acts by a caregiver that cause harm or put an elderly person’s well-being in jeopardy. Failure to satisfy an elder’s basic needs or to protect him or her from harm is also considered abuse. Abuse is not always physical – it may also come in the form of neglect, emotional mistreatment, false imprisonment, financial theft, and more.

Too many cases of elder abuse go unreported every year. The National Center on Elder Abuse has indicated that, despite the availability of Adult Protective Services in every state and mandatory reporting laws in most states, an overwhelming amount of elder abuse continues to go undetected and untreated.

Why are so many abuse cases going unnoticed? First, lack of training on abuse detection may cause nursing home staff members to miss certain telltale signs. Elderly residents may be reluctant to report mistreatment due to a fear of retaliation, a lack of physical or cognitive ability to report, or unwillingness to get the abuser in trouble.

It’s important for loved ones to look for any signs that an elderly person’s treatment has changed. Contact our firm for assistance if you suspect a friend or family member is being abused in a nursing home. We can investigate the situation and answer your questions.

 

Topics: Nursing Home Abuse, Elder Abuse

Is My Parent a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse?

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Jan 28, 2016 11:30:00 AM

It’s painful to think that a loved one could be suffering from pain at the hands of his or her caregiver. Unfortunately, a staggering number of abuse, neglect and exploitation cases go undetected each year despite mandatory elder abuse reporting laws in most states.

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An intentional act by a caregiver or another trusted person that harms or creates a risk of harm to an elderly person is considered elder abuse. Elder abuse can take many forms, including:

Physical: Harming a victim by physical force

Emotional: Causing a victim to suffer emotional distress

Sexual: Forcing non-consensual sexual contact with a victim

Financial: Stealing money, valuable information and/or personal property

Personal injury attorney Shayna Slater helped represent the families of three nursing home patients who were physically, sexually and emotionally abused by a nursing assistant at the Kindred Health Care Franklin Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility in Massachusetts. While working as an associate at a Massachusetts law firm, Shayna assisted in obtaining justice and confidential settlements for those victims.

Getting Answers

Anapol Weiss represents patients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey who have been abused in nursing homes and other managed care facilities. Our attorneys are dedicated to providing victims and their families with the help they need to get answers and seek justice for abuse, neglect and mistreatment.

Contact our firm for assistance if you suspect your loved one is being harmed in a nursing home. We can investigate the situation and answer any questions you may have.

Topics: Nursing Home Abuse

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