Discovering your loved one was abused or neglected while residing in a senior care facility is devastating. The first step you should take is to remove your loved one from the facility to ensure no further harm occurs. Then you should contact a Bala Cynwyd nursing home abuse lawyer.
Our team of compassionate attorneys could help you seek legal recourse from the negligent caretakers. Your family might be entitled to numerous damages, including medical bills, therapy, pain and suffering, and decreased quality of life. Do not hesitate to reach out to experienced legal professionals for guidance during this troubling time.
Signs of Senior Resident Abuse
Lawyers handling elder abuse cases in Bala Cynwyd may begin by determining the type of abuse suffered by the nursing home resident. If staff fail to provide food, water, adequate shelter, or a safe environment for the resident, they could be charged with neglect. Additionally, residents could face emotional, physical, or sexual abuse at the hands of careless staff members or other nursing home residents.
An attorney may ask the family if they witnessed any signs that neglect or abuse had occurred. Mistreated residents may display a variety of behaviors and physical symptoms that serve as warning signs, including:
- Unexplained injuries
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Bedsores and pressure ulcers
- Fearful, agitated, and antisocial behavior
- Frequent crying
- Dark urine
- Torn or bloodied clothing
Their living quarters also provide warning signs, such as a filthy bathroom, overflowing trash bins, and bedsheets that have not been changed. It is important to document all these signs as evidence of assisted care facility misconduct.
Pennsylvania Laws Protecting Nursing Home Residents
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging updated the Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA) in 1997, making it mandatory for assisted care staff members or administrators to report suspected elder abuse. The act specifies the types of facilities subject to mandatory reporting, including adult daily living centers, assisted living residences, home health care organizations, hospices, personal care homes, and long-term nursing care facilities.
Physical or sexual abuse, or abuse that results in the resident’s wrongful death, OAPSA requires additional reporting to the local police station and PA Department of Aging. Sexual harassment requires reporting to the local Area Agency on Aging only.
Recoverable Damages in Bala Cynwyd
To file a nursing home abuse claim with the state, the plaintiff’s family and their legal professional must do so within the designated statute of limitations. Pennsylvania gives plaintiffs two years to file claims starting from the date of the abuse. Filing after this period generally results in case dismissals.
Recovering damages in a nursing home neglect or abuse case requires the attorney to gather evidence to prove the facility was negligent in their caring for the resident. This could include photos of the unsanitary and unsafe environment or the physical harm done, such as bedsores and bruises. A local attorney could also gather witness statements from other staff members or nursing home residents that help prove the abuse took place.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Bala Cynwyd for Help
Do not let elder abuse go unpunished or unresolved. Speak with a Bala Cynwyd nursing home abuse lawyer right away. Not only could you stop your loved one from harm, you could prevent other people’s loved ones from suffering the same fate. Call our law firm today to talk to our compassionate, experienced legal team.