Elderly people often have little autonomy or ability to control their circumstances. They might live in a nursing home or long-term care facility because they need significant medical support or cannot manage for themselves anymore. Some elderly people remain at home under the care of family members or paid home aides.

Whatever their living situation, the vulnerable elderly deserve to be cared for with tenderness and respect. Sadly, they often are subjected to physical and emotional abuse and financial exploitation.

If you suspect senior citizen is suffering abuse or neglect, you could take steps to end the mistreatment and hold the responsible parties accountable with the help of a qualified personal injury attorney. A York elder abuse lawyer at McDonald at Law could explain your legal alternatives and the most effective steps you could take to protect your friend or loved one.

Be Attentive to Signs of Abuse and Neglect

Detecting abuse can be challenging when an individual is already in poor health, and especially so if they have dementia or are non-communicative. Nevertheless, there are some common signs that abuse or neglect is occurring:

  • Changes in appetite or claims of inadequate or bad food
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • New medications or increased dosages, especially of sedating medications
  • Frequent falls
  • Wandering off premises or attempts to escape
  • Increased agitation, anxiety, or fearfulness
  • Bedsores

A loved one who observes any of the conditions above in a nursing home resident should speak with the resident’s physician and the nursing home administrator. There could be an innocent explanation related to the progress of the resident’s disease, and the symptoms might not necessarily be an indicator of abuse or neglect. However, if the concerned person is dissatisfied with the responses they receive to their elder abuse inquiry, contacting a knowledgeable attorney at McDonald at Law in York for advice is a wise step.

Home Healthcare Aide

If the elderly individual is being cared for at home by a home health aide, a concerned person should immediately call the aide’s supervisor. Replacing the aide and the agency might be necessary. Whenever there is a report of suspected abuse or neglect, 6 Pennsylvania Code §15.151 requires notification to the state Attorney General. A concerned person should follow up to ensure the notice was filed and consider filing one themselves.

Severe Abuse in York Nursing Homes Requires Immediate Action

Nursing homes can abuse their residents physically, sexually, or financially.

Physical Abuse

Any indication that a nursing home resident is being physically abused merits immediate removal from the facility and a report to the state Attorney General. If a staff member or other resident kicks, strikes, bites, or otherwise physically harms a resident, that is physical abuse. Misuse of physical restraint is a form of physical abuse.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse in nursing homes is common. If a resident reports sexual abuse, develops a sexually transmitted disease, or if a medical exam indicates forced sexual contact, a proactive negligence lawyer could advise whether a report to law enforcement is appropriate. A resident who has experienced sexual abuse should be transferred to another facility, if possible.

Financial Abuse

Care facility residents are vulnerable to financial exploitation. Loved ones should look for signs that a facility or a staff member could be stealing property or extorting money from a resident. A loved one who suspects theft or financial exploitation could seek legal advice about how best to proceed.

Remedies for York Nursing Home Abuse

If evidence is present that a facility or a staff member abused or neglected a resident, the resident or their legal guardian could file a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages. However, going to court might not be the preferred remedy when the victim of abuse is elderly and in poor health.

An experienced attorney at McDonald at Law could present the evidence of neglect or abuse to the nursing home’s parent office, if it is owned by a corporation, or the Administrator, if the facility is locally owned. The parties could negotiate a financial settlement that might allow the resident to move to better managed facility and perhaps provide additional funds to the resident that would make their remaining time more comfortable.

Consult with a Compassionate York Attorney Your Elder Abuse Claim to

Mistreatment of elderly people is a heartbreaking reality. Family members and loved ones must be vigilant overseers of the care a vulnerable person receives.

If you believe an elderly person you care about has experienced abuse or neglect, you can take action to protect them. Contact a York elder abuse lawyer at McDonald at Law for help. Schedule a consultation today.

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