Suspecting Nursing Home Abuse
One of the most difficult decisions you can make is determining the need to trust others for the care of the loved ones who dedicated their lives to you. However, unless you can provide the 24-hour attention required to ensure the health and safety of an aging family member, you may need to rely on a nursing home or a home health care worker. You may perform mountains of research before entrusting the care of your loved one to a facility or home health worker. However, even a respected nursing home can unknowingly hire workers who perform substandard care or even actively abuse residents.
Watch for signs of neglect or abuse
When you entrust others to care for your loved ones, you must remain constantly watchful for signs of neglect or abuse, such as the following:
- Significant weight loss
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, burns, and other injuries
- Poor personal hygiene
- Unkempt residential areas
Unfortunately, not all signs of abuse are obvious. Take note of the overall behavior and responsiveness of your loved one. If he or she becomes withdrawn or appears fearful in the presence of certain individuals — or if the facility only permits visits during unusually limited hours ¾ you need to investigate.
How to protect your elderly loved ones
The Pennsylvania Department of Heath provides important information on how to report concerns about nursing homes, long-term care facilities, residential assisted living and home personal care. Nevertheless, a Pittsburgh elder law attorney can help you take the immediate action you need to protect your loved ones, including assisting with reporting requirements. And in cases when you have concerns that your loved one cannot remain in the current care situation, an experienced attorney can help find alternative solutions to provide the immediate protection you need.
Seek skilled legal support to protect your elderly loved ones
The elder law attorneys at Fingeret Law have more than 40 years of experience helping the greater Pittsburgh community in the practice areas of elder law, medical assistance planning, insurance law, estates, trusts, guardianships and estate planning. To discuss your specific needs and to find out how we can help you, please contact us today.