Lancaster PA Nursing Home Injury Attorneys
Nursing Home Abuse in Lancaster County, PA
Lancaster County is located in the south-central region of Pennsylvania, and, as of the 2010 census, had a population of more than half a million. The Amish community in Lancaster County is a major attraction, making the county a popular tourist destination. Lancaster County was originally a part of Chester County until 1729 when it became the fourth county in the colony. A longstanding dispute existed with the state of Maryland regarding the southern border of Lancaster County—a dispute which brought nine years of armed clashes, and which, if Pennsylvania had not been the victor, would have resulted in Philadelphia being a part of Maryland. If you or a loved one is the victim of elder abuse in Lancaster County or been the subject of a nursing home injury or nursing home abuse, contact our legal team now by phone (717) 291-9400 or by email or live chat. Seek a nursing home lawyer now to discuss your rights when you or a loved one is facing elder abuse or injury.
Pennsylvania Department of Health Notes Increase in the Number of Elder Abuse Reports
According to the Reading Eagle, a decade ago, investigators substantiated 159 cases of elder abuse which were reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. In 2017, that number was 1,018—more than a six-fold increase. The number of reports for elder abuse in the state of Pennsylvania is also up, with a 45 percent rise since 2008. This particular article noted that “state officials were at a loss to explain the surge in reports.”
Despite the fact that more reports of elder abuse are being submitted, a study out of Boston by the National Research Council found that such incidents are extremely underreported, with only about 1 in 14 incidents of elder abuse ever reported. The Pennsylvania Department of Health acknowledges that Pennsylvania nursing home regulations need updating, particularly in light of the fat that Pennsylvania, like all states in the U.S., is bracing for a virtual tsunami of baby boomers turning passing 65 in the near future.
Lancaster County Nursing Home Inspections
Lancaster County has 32 nursing homes, all of which undergo regular inspections by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. In September, 2018, the Lancaster Online released a list of nursing home health inspection reports released since late July. These inspections are performed annually, unannounced, although when a complaint about a specific nursing home is registered with the department, a complaint inspection is performed.
The deficiencies in the nursing homes are ranked as having “potential harm, minimal harm, actual harm or immediate jeopardy.” Currently, the number of deficiencies per facility in the state of Pennsylvania is 6.6—higher than the United States average of 5.8. Some of the nursing homes in Lancaster County include:
- Conestoga View
- Hamilton Arms Center
- Glen at Willow Valley
- Luther Acres Manor
- The Gardens at Stevens
- Landis Homes
- Evergreen Estates Retirement Community
- Maple Farm Nursing Center
- Rose City Rehabilitation Center
- Elderwood Senior Living at Lancaster
- And more
The Many Forms of Elder Abuse in Lancaster County
Elder abuse can take many different forms. There can be financial exploitation, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse or neglect. As many as half a million elderly individuals are affected by elder abuse each and every year, although not all of that abuse occurs in nursing homes.
Physical abuse of the elderly is defined as using some type of physical force on an elderly person which could be expected to cause bodily harm, physical pain or ongoing impairment, such as shoving, pinching, slapping, shaking, kicking or hitting. Physical abuse may also include the inappropriate use of drugs, the use of physical restraints, or even force-feeding a resident. Some of the signs and symptoms of physical abuse include:
- Broken bone or fractures
- Unexplained bruising
- Unexplained welts
- Red or raw marks resulting from the use of restraints
- Unexplained cuts
- Broken eyeglasses
- Internal bleeding or internal injuries
- Evidence of being given too much or too little medication
- Refusal of the nursing home staff to allow family members to see the elderly person alone
- Sudden changes in behavior or personality of the elderly person
- Self-reporting by the elderly person of being physical mistreated
Sexual abuse of an elderly person may have such signs as unexplained STDs or genital infections, bruising on the breasts or genitals, stained or torn underwear or self-reporting of sexual abuse by the elderly individual.
Mental or psychological abuse of an elderly person includes pain, distress or anguish, whether verbally or nonverbally. This can come in the form of humiliation, threats, intimidation or harassment. The elderly person may be treated like a child or isolated from any enjoyed activities or visits with friends or family. Signs of mental abuse can be agitation, emotional upset, unusual behavior which mimics dementia or the elderly person being unresponsive, withdrawn or uncommunicative.
Neglect occurs when the elderly person is deprived of the basic necessities they require for a comfortable life. A refusal to provide water, food, hygiene, personal safety, medication, clothing or medical attention all fall under neglect. Signs of neglect could be bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, unsanitary living conditions, or withdrawn behavior.
Financial abuse occurs when an elderly person’s assets are improperly or illegally used, and can include forging a signature, taking cash or checks, coercing the person to sign documents or stealing possessions. When it is discovered that a loved one is suffering nursing home abuse, it can be a devastating blow—and one which requires careful handling by an experienced Pennsylvania nursing home abuse attorney from the Ciccarelli Law Offices.
How the Ciccarelli Law Offices Can Help
The attorneys at the Ciccarelli Law Offices have helped many people who have found themselves in the same position you are now facing. It is normal to react with shock and disbelief when you find that your elderly loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home you put your trust in. There are several steps you will need to follow, and our attorneys can help you do that. We are highly knowledgeable regarding Pennsylvania laws which govern elder abuse, and will work with you to obtain justice for your loved one. Contact the Ciccarelli Law Offices today by calling (717) 291-9400 or (877) 529-2422.
When you need a team of experienced Pennsylvania nursing home neglect and injury lawyers, Contact the Ciccarelli Law Offices by email or phone at (717) 291-9400 or (877) 529-2422. We represent nursing home injury clients throughout Lancaster County PA including Lancaster, Ephrata, Manheim, Lititz, Columbia, Willow Street, Millersville, Gap, New Holland, Quarryville, Elizabethtown, Mt. Joy and Denver.