When our Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers discuss negligence at nursing homes, most people think of physical abuse — the use of non-accidental force. This type of abuse certainly does happen at nursing homes, and it’s a terrible betrayal of patients’ trust. But according to the American Psychological Association, hitting and other physical attacks are far from the only type of abuse older people may face. The APA defines elder abuse as the infliction of physical, psychological or emotional harm on an older adult. This includes acts we don’t exactly consider violent, such as tying an older person down improperly because he or she is being difficult. More rarely, this can include sexual abuse.
Another form of nursing home abuse that may go unnoticed is emotional abuse. Caring for an older person can be tough, and caregivers may find themselves frustrated by irrational behavior by their patients. However, this is never an excuse for yelling, insults or other degrading behavior. Caregivers have been known to call their patients names; isolate them socially for no good reason; treat competent adults like children; and even control their behavior with threats and intimidation. Because the patient is partly or entirely dependent on the caregiver, he or she may be afraid to say anything.
Nursing home abuse is terrible enough when considered as an assault on an older person and his or her basic dignity. But in many cases, abuse can trigger serious health problems, or worsen problems the victim already has. In this way, nursing home abuse in Pennsylvania can actually contribute to or cause the victim’s death, along with physical and emotional suffering and sometimes steep medical costs.
Families who have suffered this type of abuse in greater Philadelphia should talk to a Pennsylvania nursing home abuse attorney about their legal options. For a free consultation, victims and their families shouldn’t hesitate to call Rosenbaum & Associates at 1-800-7-LEGAL-7 (1-800-753-4257) or send a message through our Web site.