Elders play an important role in our communities, to help raise children and provide family support. Most families would like to keep their elders in their own homes but medical issues may make it impossible for the elderly to live on their own. A nursing home may be the only option but families should watch for possible signs of elder abuse, which is all too common.
Investigation Against Group Home for Poor Hygienic Conditions
In Grand Bay, Alabama, a judge has sent a case of suspected elder abuse to a grand jury. Back in May, police were called after a report of a man falling outside a home. When a detective arrived, he found a group home with residents living in poor hygienic conditions, surrounded by vermin and human waste.
The homeowners each faced 6 counts of elder abuse – one count for each of the 6 residents. According to the reports, some of the residents had been living in a different state and moved to the uncertified group home. The home had one employee, working between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and all food and medication were locked up during the rest of the day. There were only 5 beds for the 6 residents.
After law enforcement showed up, 911 was called to respond to two residents who had been left on the floor. Three of the residents were taken to the hospital for medical care. The other 3 also were taken out later that day for care and because of the conditions in the home. According to a report, residents said they hadn’t seen any staff for about a week and had no access to food, liquids, or a telephone.
Philadelphia Elder Abuse Laws
It is shameful that elders can be treated so poorly in nursing homes in the United States. Fortunately, there are laws in place that are supposed to protect the elderly and provide a cause of action against greedy nursing home businesses who put profits over people.
Elder abuse can involve physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and financial exploitation. In a nursing home, the facility is supposed to be regulated by local authorities. However, many nursing homes slip through the cracks of regulation and are able to operate unsafe facilities for months or years.
In many cases, elder abuse goes unnoticed because residents are unable or afraid to speak out. Many residents feel intimidated by abusive staff and will not report abuse out of fear of retaliation. Other residents may be non-verbal or non-communicative and be unable to tell their family or investigators about what has been going on.
Other forms of abuse can be less insidious but just as harmful. As companies look to save money and lower costs, many nursing home administrators try to reduce staff and lower labor costs, which can be a significant expense. As a result, patients who make an emergency call may not get seen, bed-ridden patients may not be moved, and incontinent patients may have to sit for hours in their own waste.
Signs of Elder Abuse
Signs of elder abuse may include bedsores, malnutrition, unexplained weight loss, dehydration, and dirty or unsanitary conditions. Increased confusion, depression, sudden changes in mental state or alertness may also be signs of possible abuse or neglect. unusual withdrawal, or frequent fights.
If you suspect an elderly parent or family member may be suffering abuse in Philadelphia, you may not know where to turn for help. To discuss your case with a member of our legal team, fill out an online evaluation form or call (800) 529-6162 today.
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