As Pennsylvania nursing home abuse attorneys, we see many clients who discovered abuse and neglect of their loved ones after it led to severe health consequences. Unfortunately, this is probably the most common way families discover problems, because victims don't always have the ability to directly tell their loved ones something is wrong. And of course, corrupt nursing home staff take steps to hide abuse and neglect. But if your family suspects abuse or neglect, there are steps you can take to prevent serious physical and emotional harm to your loved one.
Experts say the best offense against nursing home abuse is to stay aware. Studies show patients receive better treatment when their families visit often, so if possible, make sure you visit regularly. To reduce the chance that nursing home staff will anticipate your visits, you should try to schedule the visits at different times of the day and week. During your visit, check the patient for physical and mental problems not related to any underlying health condition. Examples might include unexplained weight loss, signs of dehydration, confusion in a mentally competent person or medications a doctor didn't order. Also, examine the cleanliness of the facility itself and the way staff interacts with the patients. If patients seem dominated by staff, anxious or overly sedated, there may be a problem.
If you discover evidence of neglect or abuse at a nursing home, you can and should report the home to state health authorities. Families have also set up hidden cameras in homes to capture clear and convincing evidence of abuse. But even a swift investigation that shuts down a bad home for good can't help families deal with the physical and emotional damage abuse can cause. To penalize negligent nursing homes and recover the financial costs of dealing with the abuse, families should contact a Philadelphia nursing home neglect lawyer to discuss the possibility of a civil lawsuit.
Rosenbaum & Associates represents victims and their families in nursing home negligence legislation throughout Pennsylvania. To learn more or set up a free consultation on your case, please call us toll-free at 1800-7-LEGAL-7 or contact us online today.