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Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Do you suspect that a family member is experiencing physical abuse or neglect at a nursing home or retirement home?

The Colleran Firm represents individuals who are experiencing nursing home abuse or neglect, and their families.  The attorneys at the Colleran Firm have more than a century of combined legal experience. Our lawyers have been consistently listed among Pennsylvania’s Super Lawyers and are rated highly by Martindale-Hubbell, a leader in the legal industry. Speak with one of our compassionate, knowledgeable attorneys if you suspect that your mother, father, grandparent, or other elderly or disabled relative is being abused or neglected.  We will review the specific facts and and give you our honest opinion of whether we can help you.

The Colleran Firm is the legal team that you need to pursue a nursing home abuse or neglect case. As a family of attorneys, we understand the importance of taking care of family and we are ready to assist you immediately to protect your family member.

Types of Elder Abuse

Pennsylvania has one of the oldest populations of any state, with approximately 2.7 million people who are 60 or older. By 2020, one out of four residents in Pennsylvania will be 60 or older. Many families eventually face the decision to place an elderly parent or relative in long-term care. When you help a loved one enter a nursing home, you entrust your loved one’s health and well-being to the skill and competency of the caregivers. Whatever the person’s age, physical condition and cognitive alertness, a nursing home resident deserves to receive quality care and attention to attain the highest practical level of physical and mental well-being. Unfortunately, some nursing home residents are harmed by neglect or physical abuse.

Generally speaking, the types of elder abuse are categorized as follows:

  • Neglect
  • Infliction of physical injury or pain
  • Psychological Abuse
  • Sexual
  • Financial exploitation

Approximately 7 percent of the 188,000 complaints reported in 2014 to long-term care ombudsman programs involved neglect, abuse or exploitation, according to the National Ombudsman Reporting System. Abuse of elderly residents by other residents is recognized as more common than abuse by nursing home staff.

When loved ones have suffered injuries in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers or assisted living facilities in the Philadelphia area, it is wise to consult with a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney to understand your legal rights and options.

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse

Nursing home residents have a right to be free of verbal, physical, sexual or mental abuse as well as misappropriation of money. Some nursing homes may have smaller staffs to reduce costs, putting more demands on the staff members who are working. Residents may not receive adequate attention and care because there are too few staff members.

Family members of nursing home residents should know how to recognize signs of abuse and neglect and be alert for any signs of mistreatment.

Signs of elder abuse may include:

  • Unexplained bruises, pressure marks, burns or cuts
  • Bedsores and unattended medical needs
  • Bruises on the breasts or genitals
  • Poor hygiene
  • Broken bones
  • Sudden withdrawal from social activity
  • Weight loss
  • Increased confusion
  • Signs of agitation in the presence of a specific nursing home staff member
  • Unusual transfers or withdrawals from any financial account
  • Signing one’s home or bank account to another
  • Dehydration or nutritional deficiencies

Nursing homes cannot use physical restraints or drugs to manage residents for the staff’s convenience or as a form of discipline.

Nursing Home Deaths

Nursing home abuse and neglect can cause preventable harm that leads to a resident’s death. Nursing homes are required to keep records of a patient’s health and medical care after a resident’s death.  A review of the records by an experienced elder abuse lawyer may identify an issue that needs a more thorough investigation.

A nursing home may face financial consequences in addition to criminal prosecution and penalties after a resident’s wrongful death. We are sensitive to the fact that no amount of money can compensate you for the preventable death of a loved one. The family members of a nursing home resident whose death was caused by negligence may be eligible to recover compensation for their loss. A Pennsylvania or New Jersey wrongful death lawsuit can focus attention on a safety issue at a facility and prevent other families from enduring the same kind of loss.

If you have unanswered questions about your loved one’s death in a nursing home, speak with a compassionate attorney at the Colleran Firm about the situation and your legal options.

Frequently Asked Elder Abuse Questions

What is Considered Elder Abuse?

Nursing home abuse includes the infliction of physical injury, unreasonable restraint, intimidation, sexual assault, or punishment causing physical harm, pain or emotional anguish. A caregiver’s intentional withholding of goods or services necessary to maintain a nursing home’s resident’s mental or physical health also constitutes abuse.

A caregiver’s failure to provide care and services essential to avoid a serious threat to a nursing home resident’s well being is neglect.

Where to Report Nursing Home Abuse?

You should first discuss your concerns about neglect or abuse with the nursing home’s administrator or director of nursing. If the issue related to your loved one’s care is not resolved, contact the local Agency on Aging, which can put you in touch with a Department of Aging ombudsman who is trained to resolve complaints related to the care of elderly residents. Ombudsmen are trained advocates for nursing home residents.

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging has a hotline for reporting elder abuse of an older person in a nursing home, personal care facility, rehab center or hospital. The number is 1-800-490-8505. A complaint can be filed confidentially so that the facility is not told who filed the complaint.

You also may file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The Department of Health’s Quality Assurance Complaint Hotline is 1-800-254-5164.

How to Choose a Nursing Home?

Pennsylvania has approximately 700 nursing homes so there are many from which to choose. Educate yourself about the types of care that your loved one needs. For example, some nursing homes have Alzheimer’s units with locked doors that provide a higher level of security for residents with Alzheimer’s disease. Ask friends and relatives and your doctor for recommendations. Once you have identified nursing home facilities that fit the needs of your loved one, you should compare the facilities that you are considering based on quality standards, cost and location.

Take a look at Nursing Home Compare, a website that has information about every nursing home certified by Medicare and Medicaid in the U.S. You can use this tool to compare the quality of the nursing homes that you are considering.

The attorneys at The Colleran Firm handle serious injury cases caused by health care provider negligence and medical malpractice in Pennsylvania & New Jersey.

Connect With Us:

The Colleran Firm

2005 Market Street # 1940
Philadelphia, PA, 19103
Phone: (215) 972-8000