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Elder Abuse & Nursing Home Neglect
Preventing Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse
Nursing home abuse and neglect occurs with far too much frequency in Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing homes. However, whether you are just in the process of choosing a nursing home or your loved one has been at at a facility for years, you can take steps to significantly reduce the likelihood that your elderly loved one becomes a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect.
Guidelines to Preventing Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse
Below are some general guidelines family members should follow both before and after they have selected a facility in order to reduce the risk of nursing home abuse / neglect.
Prior to placing a loved one in a nursing home:
Research the nursing home on the internet – go to the facilities website and read up on it. Go to various other nursing home abuse and neglect watchdog sites and see what information they may have about the nursing home you are considering.
Contacting your state’s Department of Health – In both PA and NJ the Department of Health oversees the nursing home industry. They conduct annual surveys to inspect nursing homes and investigate all claims of nursing home abuse and neglect. They make their findings available to the public for review. Look up the nursing home you are considering and see how well it is doing.
Make an appointment to speak with the nursing home’s administrator – The administrator is the head of the nursing home. He or she oversees the entire facility and can discuss with you all aspects of what the nursing home has to offer. You can also take this time to inquire about certain nursing home abuse related topics such as staff training, ratio of nurse and nurse aides to residents, and turnover rates.
Take a tour of the facility – Walking around the facility can often tell you a lot about the place. How well is maintained? How clean is it? If a nursing home can not maintain it building and sanitary issues to your satisfaction, you do not want to place your loved one there.
Speak directly with residents of the facility – While taking your tour, if possible, stop and speak with nursing home residents and/or their families and see what they think about the nursing home. You can find out very useful information this way.
Observe the behaviors and moods – While taking your tour notice the behavior and moods of the staff and residents. A well managed nursing home generally has a much more pleasant feel to it. The staff seem to enjoy their jobs and the residents are calmer, less irritable, and unhappy because their needs are being met.
Look for warning signs – While visiting the nursing home look out for tell-tale signs of nursing home abuse or neglect. These include: insufficient numbers of care providers, incompetent or indifferent care providers; lack of cleanliness, residents left alone for prolonged periods, and call bells going unanswered.
See if there have been any complaints/lawsuits filed
After placing a loved one in a nursing home:
Visit regularly – the very best way to prevent nursing home abuse or neglect is to visit your loved one as frequently as possible. The more you or your family members and friends are their the less likely abuse or neglect will occur.
Get to know your loved one’s care providers – Meet your loved one’s care providers. Get to know them by name. The more familiar you are with them the more comfortable you will be inquiring about care. The better they know you the more forthright they will be about the care.
Be vocal – If issues arise, be vocal about it. Make sure you bring it to the attention of your loved one’s immediate care providers and their supervisors. If the issue is not resolved, vocalize your concerns / complaints up the chain to the assistant director of nursing, the director of nursing and the administrator. Make sure your concerns / complaints are documented in your loved one’s medical chart.
Contact the Ombudsman’s Office – If you continue to have concerns about your loved one’s well-being and you believe nursing home abuse and/or neglect has occurred or is imminent, contact your Ombudsman’s Office and have the state conduct an investigation.
Contact a nursing home abuse / neglect attorney – If you have concerns that lead you to contact your state’s Ombudsman’s Office, you should also contact a nursing home abuse attorney, such as Brian P. Murphy, Esq. Nursing home abuse attorneys commonly confront the issues you face and understand the nursing home industry and the law by which it is governed. A nursing home abuse attorney will inform you of your rights and knows how best to proceed should you wish to pursue a legal action.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorney
Brian P. Murphy is an experienced and well-regarded Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home abuse attorney who has successfully represented many elderly residents subjected to nursing home abuse and neglect. Mr. Murphy handles cases throughout all counties of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and practices law at an established law firm in Trenton. If you see signs of nursing home abuse or neglect, take immediate action today. Contact nursing home abuse attorney, Brian P. Murphy for a free, one-on-one consultation.
Legal matters are billed on a contingency fee basis. All Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing home abuse cases are personally handled by Brian Murphy.
Read the testimonial page and learn about Mr. Murphy’s former clients’ experiences with him.
* Nothing on this website is to be construed as attorney advice or otherwise creating an attorney-client relationship.