Nursing Home Neglect & Elder Abuse

iStock_000014348945_ExtraSmallInjuries to Residents/Patients in Nursing Homes

Do you suspect someone you love is a victim of nursing home negligence or abuse?

It is illegal for a nursing home to neglect or abuse its patients or residents. There are state and federal laws that protect nursing home patients and residents, and that guarantee them certain rights. There are many reasons that patients or residents in nursing homes or long-term care facilities suffer nursing home abuse or neglect. Often, nursing home staff are overworked, poorly trained and/or receive low wages. Also, neglect occurs when a nursing home owner tries to cut corners and reduce costs by skimping on staff or supplies. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, half of the nursing homes in the Unites States are understaffed.

There are many ways that the elderly suffer abuse or neglect in nursing homes. The following are some common signs or problems to look for:

  • Elder neglect
  • Suspicious, sudden or unexpected coma or death
  • Pressure sores or skin ulcers
  • Bed sores
  • Falls or fractured bones
  • Suspected sexual abuse
  • Improper medication
  • Poor hygiene
  • Poor wound care
  • Dehydration or malnutrition
  • Sepsis or infection

Villari, Brandes & Giannone has extensive legal experience representing nursing home residents/patients and their families in cases against nursing homes and long-term care facilities. If you or a loved one has been neglected or abused in a nursing home or long-term care facility, there is something you can do. Don’t allow yourself or a loved one to continue to suffer that neglect or abuse. Call our law firm today for a free consultation! Villari, Brandes & Giannone will help you or your loved one get justice and proper compensation for injuries and damages suffered.

Talk Philly Host: For many people, older adults are role models. They are our mentors. People who we look to for advice and for wisdom, but to others, older adults become targets. It’s estimated by the Center on Elder Abuse, that nearly ten percent of elder Americans are victims of some kind of abuse. In fact, it’s believed that many more cases really go on unreported. Here to talk about elder abuse, especially in nursing homes, and spotting the signs and stopping it, or even better, preventing it, is attorney Brian Strauss of Villari, Brandes, Giannone. Brian, it’s
good to have you with us. I think that this is really an important issue to bring to everyone’s mind, because there are sometimes when older loved ones, who may be in a nursing home, or who may be in the care of someone else, you see them just a little off their game, and you’re not sure they’re getting older, or whether they really have a problem. Let’s talk about the signs of elder abuse. What do you look for when you talk about elder abuse?

Brian Strauss: Thank you for having me on the show. What we talk with elder abuse and in neglected nursing homes are things of the nature which when you visit your loved one, you should know your loved one better than just about anyone else, and what you look for are signs of skin problems, which could develop into bed sores, weight loss which could be malnutrition. If you notice that your loved one is thirsty all the time when you visit the nursing home, they may be dehydrated, fluids. You want to check the skin because that is a first real sign of a problem that you may be having. When you see your loved one, and that they’re having actually.

Talk Philly Host: And so what does that mean? That they are not being cared for, that they are just lying in bed all the time, and that they’re not getting up, and being moved, or turned, or something like that?

Brian Strauss: Well, the nursing homes are required under state and federated regulations to provide all care for someone in the nursing home. The nursing home is actually their residence, and I think people think of it more as a place where they go to be cared for in a way like maybe a hospital. But, it’s actually where they live, and the nursing home is to provide all care, and sometimes their comes into a question, and the most important thing is for the loved ones to be looked at and that the family members be diligent, and they make sure that they talk to their
family member. Most people know their family member better than anyone else, and the important thing is that you notice a difference, talk to somebody on staff.

Talk Philly Host: Okay, so let’s say you have been talking to people on staff and you feel like you’re not getting anywhere, and then you wait and wonder to yourself, “Am I being too critical here”. What do you do? What advice do you have?

Brian Strauss: There really is no being too critical. What you need to understand is that there are state and federated regulations, like I’ve said. You should inquire. You should talk to the director of nursing, a nursing home administrator. Don’t be afraid to speak to people because when you leave, the staff is taking care of your loved one. Often in the nursing homes, the staff is over worked, they’re underpaid, and if you wish, you contact our firm, Pete Villari has created a firm where we are informational, and over the last 30 years it’s important that we provide information to everyone.

Talk Philly Host: And so if you want to know what your rights are, and the rights of your loved ones are, you will have the answers for that. Brian, thank you very much.

Brian Strauss: Thank you very much for having me.

Talk Philly Host: Yeah, and nice to have you here to talk about this most important subject. So for more on elder abuse, even in a nursing home situation, the law firm of the Villari, Brandes, Giannone. You can go to CBSPhilly.com and click on Talk Philly.