By 2030 there are expected to be over 4 million people aged 60 years old and older in Pennsylvania, which will be close to 30% of the population. It is also expected that by 2030 there will be more than 400,000 people age 85 and older. This increase in the aging population percentage is also going to put higher demands on nursing home availability. When we make the decision to put our loved ones in nursing homes, we assume we are doing so to get them the care and attention that they need for their mental and physical health and safety. This makes it especially distressing when we find out our loved ones are being abused by the staff and other residents of the nursing home.
Nursing home neglect and abuse
Nursing homes have a duty to your loved one. You have entrusted your loved one’s life with the nursing home you selected and its staff members and medical professionals. Unfortunately, resident mistreatment is not uncommon in nursing homes. See below for examples of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Neglect means not taking care of residents properly. This can happen in the following ways: leaving residents alone and isolated for long periods of time, failing to get them appropriate medical care, not aiding in proper hygiene such as bathing and teeth brushing, allowing them to live in unsanitary conditions such as dirty rooms and clothes, not making sure they are properly nourished, not making sure they are doing necessary exercises for their physical well being, and not taking them to the bathroom or changing soiled clothes.
Financial exploitation of nursing home residents is also not uncommon when staff members or other nursing home residents take financial advantage of residents by persuading vulnerable residents to give them control of their finances or give them money. We have also seen residents hand over their checkbooks and change their wills.
Physical, mental, sexual abuse are prevalent in nursing homes and vulnerable residents may not realize they are being abused or may be afraid to speak up about it even when they are aware of it.
Nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable members of society and they deserve to be protected and compensated if they have suffered abuse and neglect. Recoverable damages may include medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and in some cases of extreme neglect and abuse, punitive damages may also be recoverable.