Aug 21

Crisis in Pennsylvania Nursing Homes

Pennsylvania Nursing Home Crisis - Scranton, PA

Posted on August 21, 2019 — by Tom Foley III

Elderly woman in a nursing homeOf all the bad things that can happen to the elderly, abuse and neglect while in a nursing home ranks high on the list. The elderly at assisted-living facilities rely on workers to care for them and ensure their well being. Mistreatment of extremely vulnerable people should never be acceptable.

At the Foley Law Firm, our Scranton, PA attorneys take nursing home malpractice and abuse extremely seriously. Sadly, it seems like the situation is getting worse for the elderly in Pennsylvania. We have a crisis on our hands.

Just How Bad Are Pennsylvania Nursing Homes?

The situation is certainly not good, and could get worse.

According to a Penn Live report from June, statewide nursing homes were given a failing grade by Families for Better Care. Families for Better Care is a non-profit advocacy group that examines nursing homes across the country.

Pennsylvania’s F isn’t the worst aspect of the failing grade. The state ranks 46th on the list for overall quality of nursing homes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Previously, Pennsylvania was given a D by Families for Better Care, and ranked 32nd. This decline from already below-average nursing home care is bad news for the aging baby boomers in our state.

Causes of Bad Nursing Home Conditions

A Penn Live opinion piece last month listed a few reasons why the nursing homes in Pennsylvania are so bad. This included the following:

  • Understaffing at nursing homes
  • Low pay for nursing home employees
  • High turnover of staff at nursing homes
  • Inefficient processes for care delivery
  • Poor outcomes for care provided

What our Scranton lawyers noted is that these issues with staffing and pay create a recipe for abuse and mistreatment of the elderly while in assisted-living faculties. Because of this, we want to change our focus from the nursing home crisis in the state to how these problems affect the elderly who live in nursing homes.

Examples of Poor Nursing Home Treatment

Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms. This includes:

  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Theft
  • Withholding food, beverages, or medication
  • Not cleaning a bed or living area

If staff are overworked and underpaid, they might take out their frustrations on the elderly since they are generally defenseless. This should never be tolerated.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Some common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include the following:

  • Signs of physical violence (cuts, bruises, inexplicable injuries)
  • Loved ones seem quiet or withdrawn
  • Loved ones seem depressed
  • Loss of weight
  • Deterioration in health
  • Mood swings while visiting loved ones

If something seems wrong, be sure to speak with your loved one about what is happening.

What to Do If a Relative or Loved One Has Been Mistreated

If you notice any signs of potential abuse, be sure to remove your loved one from that nursing home or assisted-living center as soon as possible. Their safety is crucial. You can then speak to our Scranton attorneys about the situation. Even though there are structural and institutional issues with the nursing homes in this state, that is no excuse for any kind of mistreatment of the elderly.

Learn More About Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits

For more information about elder abuse lawsuits and holding nurses and orderlies accountable for harm and neglect, be sure to contact our skilled team of nursing home abuse attorneys. The team at the Foley Law Firm can be reached by phone at (570) 342-8194.

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