NURSING HOME NEGLECT ATTORNEYS IN WEST CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are meant to be safe, comfortable places for elderly or disabled individuals. Unfortunately, many individuals are in vulnerable situations in their nursing homes. In some cases, when individuals cannot speak up as easily for themselves, they are more vulnerable and at risk of abuse or neglect. It’s important that those individuals are taken care of, and you can support them with legal help. At Goldberg, Goldberg & Maloney, we stand up for victims of nursing home abuses across Pennsylvania. From our West Chester office, we proudly serve clients throughout the surrounding area. We can help you identify the signs and take charge to protect your loved ones in the case that elder abuse has occurred.
LAW PROTECTING FREEDOM
FROM ABUSE AND NEGLECT
In Pennsylvania, nursing home residents are protected from abuse and neglect by the Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA). This act states that employees or administrators of the nursing home are mandatory reporters – or, in other words, if they suspect abuse, they are legally obligated to report said abuse. The local Area Agency on Aging should be the first to know about abuse allegations/suspicions. More serious abuse, such as sexual abuse, serious physical injury, or suspicious death should be reported immediately to the Department of Aging and local law enforcement.
Nursing home residents have legally protected rights and deserve to get the best care possible. Sadly, far too many older people in nursing homes suffer due to physical assault, neglect, and other forms of abuse. Nursing home abuse comes in many forms, but the most common are:
USE OF RESTRAINTS
One form of abuse that is regulated by the state is the use of restraints, including manual devices or chemicals (such as drugs). Restraints are only to be used on a resident if there’s a specific doctor’s note, and that note has to be signed, dated, and include specifics about the type of restraints and the circumstances allowed. Otherwise, restraints can be abused.
In terms of reporting suspected or confirmed abuse of nursing home residents, abuse reports can be made by anyone with suspicion and can be anonymous. Anonymity allows safety and protection against retaliation or prosecution.
Neglect is in the same vein as abuse in nursing homes, but there are some key differences. It occurs when residents in nursing homes do not get proper care and suffer physical or mental health problems as a result.
QUALITY OF LIFE REQUIREMENTS
From the perspective of the individual resident, the concept of quality of life refers to their perceptions of their own lives, as a function of their own personal preferences, personality, and life history as experienced in the daily environment of a nursing facility.
STAFFING LEVEL REQUIREMENTS
Nursing homes also have state (and federally) regulated staffing level requirements. These requirements are in place to prevent:
Inadequate Supervision (leading to falls)
Failing to Provide Medical Assistance
Failure to Keep the Residence Safe (free of hazards)
PROVING ABUSE AND NEGLIGENCE
The following are some of the early warning signs of nursing home abuse:
Failure to respond to residents’ requests for assistance
Improperly giving medications
Not responding to concerns about conflicts between residents
Poor planning when it comes to moving residents between floors or rooms
Showing disrespect or poor attitudes toward residents
In terms of liability, both the individual caregiver and the facility in which they worked can be held liable if it is discovered that they committed elder abuse. Elder abuse can come from stressed, overworked caregivers. It can also come from fellow nursing home residents. The facility itself, though, is responsible for your loved one’s health, safety, and wellbeing.
NURSING HOME NEGLECT ATTORNEYS SERVING WEST CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA
Nursing home abuse and neglect shouldn’t occur under any circumstances, and for it to happen to your loved one is unacceptable. Our compassionate personal injury attorneys at Goldberg, Goldberg & Maloney understand how much your situation has affected you and want to offer their assistance during a traumatic period of your family’s life. To schedule a free consultation with our West Chester office, contact us by phone or through our website.