Our Pennsylvania nursing home neglect attorneys were shocked and disturbed to read a recent article exposing serious problems with two state-run nursing homes. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Jan. 25 that the state health department’s inspectors found negligence and misuse of psychiatric drugs at the Hollidaysburg Veterans Home between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Another home, the Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Home in Scranton, was cited for allowing two outbreaks of scabies, failure to prevent or treat bedsores and failing to maintain sanitary conditions. The state runs four other veterans’ homes, but only these two garnered the lowest possible rating because of serious repeat violations.
In Hollidaysburg, health inspectors found that patients were improperly receiving psychiatric medicines to control their behavior. Attendants routinely physically restrained patients for bathing or medical treatment. Abuse concerns reported by a psychiatrist went uninvestigated by a director who said he didn’t believe he had to investigate statements about staffers’ personal feelings. In another case, home staff didn’t contact police about suspected abuse, despite a state law compelling them to, so the victim’s wife did it.
At the Scranton home, residents endured two rounds of scabies because home officials failed to ensure that an employee had recovered fully before coming back to work. It was also cited for failure to prevent bedsores. In one case, a doctor ordered treatment for bedsores, but the home failed to take action for nine days. At least two other patients were cited for dehydrated residents. And over three years, the state found 38 reports of possible patient abuse by staff or other patients.
As Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers, we hope this article leads to immediate corrective action by state regulators. Nursing home patients are in homes because they can no longer care for themselves, and that often means they’re at the mercy of their caregivers. As the report shows, bad caregivers can have a profound effect on their health and their quality of life.
If you believe your family was victimized by abuse, neglect or other wrongdoing at a nursing home, you should call Rosenbaum & Associates right away. To set up a free consultation, call 1-800-7-LEGAL-7 or contact us through our Web site.