Friday, June 3, 2011

Elder Abuse on the Rise in Pennsylvania

Two recent occurrences across the state have put the spotlight on elder neglect and abuse in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, this is an issue that Attorney Stoehr faces frequently with his clients and their families in the aftermath of serious injury or neglect in nursing homes and hospitals.
Quadrangle, a Delaware County nursing home, has recently lost its operating license after three workers were arrested for abusing and taunting a 78-year-old patient suffering from dementia. This is not the first time that this particular nursing home has had complaints of neglect; past occurrences have included paint ingestion by a patient in the dementia unit, as well as ingestion of an antibacterial product by another patient. Quadrangle may continue to work while it faces the appeals process. As unbelievable as this situation sounds, these kinds of situations are not uncommon in nursing homes that are understaffed or whose workers lack proper training or knowledge of emergency procedures.
Franklin County also has its share of elder abuse issues; they have reported a fourfold increase in elder abuse complaints within the last four years alone. Franklin County Area Agency on Aging has stated that they handled about 40 cases in 2007; contrast that number with their 2010 report of more than 120 cases and it’s easy to see how prevalent the problem is becoming. The agency has three broad categories in which it investigates cases—financial exploitation, abuse (physical, mental, and sexual), and neglect—which also extends to situations in nursing homes.
Pennsylvania ranks high among states for the percentage of elderly population, which is why it is so important to advocate for the rights of the elderly in situations of injury or neglect. Attorney Stoehr is familiar with, and has successfully resolved claims involving nursing home abuse and neglect. If you believe that you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, please contact our law office for a consultation.

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