Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse of the elderly is a disturbing thought, but the truth is, it is more common than anyone would like to believe. The elderly are some of the most vulnerable people in society, but even more so when their living situations make it difficult or impossible defend themselves because they are completely dependent upon their caregivers. As more and more families choose nursing home care over in-home care, we must take extra care to protect senior citizens from abuse and neglect. If you or a loved one has fallen victim to nursing home abuse in Pennsylvania, do not hesitate to contact a qualified Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss available legal options. No one should feel alone and defenseless while enduring abusive nursing home care.
Forms of Abuse
Pennsylvania nursing home abuse and negligence can take many faces and the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Hill & Associates have seen it all. Types of abuse and negligence can include:
- Physical abuse is the most common form of nursing home abuse. It is defined as non-accidental physical force that is used against a senior citizen. This type of abuse can leave the elderly in pain and further disability; severe abuse may even lead to wrongful death. In addition to the use of force against the elderly, physical abuse includes inappropriate use of drugs and unnecessary physical restraints. Although physical abuse may be the most obvious to friends and family, there are many other, more discrete forms of abuse.
- Psychological abuse occurs when nursing home occupants are made to feel fearful or anxious. It can occur when abusers speak to victims in an insulting or demeaning manner, which may lead to long-term anxiety and even physical symptoms if the abuse is severe enough. Physical abuse may also lead to emotional disturbance, so the two forms may accompany one other in many abusive situations. Verbal emotional abuse includes shouting and the use of threatening language, as well ridicule and humiliation. Emotional abuse may also result from extreme neglect of nursing home patients and subjecting them to long periods of time in isolation. In these cases, caregivers break their obligations to care for patients. Even in cases when neglect is not intentional, it can leave lasting psychological impact on patients.
- Financial abuse is the most common type of nursing home abuse. In these cases, abusers use their position as caregivers to extort money from their patients or gain the patient’s trust for the caregiver’s personal financial gain. Because senior citizens are sometimes lonely and looking for a companion they can trust, they often fall victim to financial abuse. It can occur slowly over time, in small amounts, or it can be a complex scheme to steal all of a person’s savings. Caregivers often have access to their patient’s credit card and account numbers. Because of this, special care should be taken to limit employee access to a patient’s financial information. Health insurance fraud is another type of financial abuse common in nursing homes. In cases of health insurance fraud, nursing homes charge insurance companies for services that the patient never received. For example, a patient’s medication may be billed for but never administered. This can lead to serious illness and sometimes even death. Because of this, medical providers and services billed for should be monitored closely.
- Sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual interaction with a nursing home patient. It is a disturbing type of abuse and leaves the abuser in a position of power and dominance over the victim who is often incapacitated. Sexual abuse does not have to be physical. It can also occur if the abuser forces the victim to view pornographic images or videos, or even if the abuser makes the patient undress without a valid reason. The perpetrator may be a nursing home employee or another patient.
If you suspect that a loved one is the victim of abuse or negligence, don’t hesitate to contact an accomplished Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney like Leonard K. Hill who limits his law practice to personal injury cases and is familiar with the nuances of this difficult and demanding area of law. With a particular focus on all of the detailed variations of nursing home abuse, he and the other attorneys at Hill & Associates stand ready to fight by your side in identifying lapses in the standard of care and proving liability.
Get Legal Assistance from a Caring Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
The compassionate and dedicated nursing home abuse attorneys at Hill & Associates will fight to protect the rights of your loved one being cared for in a nursing home. With experience representing thousands of victims of abuse and neglect, our lawyers have the knowledge and skills necessary to help stop the abuse and get you the best possible settlement for your case. Call our office today at 800.737.4687 to schedule your initial free consultation with a nursing home abuse attorney in Philadelphia, PA.