What to Do When You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

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What to Do When You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

It can be emotionally devastating to come to the realization that a loved one needs more help than you can provide. When the time comes to place someone you love in a nursing home, you trust that the nurses and other staff will take care of them in your place. Placing a loved one in a nursing facility is difficult enough, but how would you feel finding out that your family member is living in a facility with a D or even F grade in terms of the care he or she is receiving? Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is shockingly common and the majority of nursing homes in Pennsylvania have such ratings.

Problems with Nursing Homes in Pennsylvania
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services uses a five-star overall rating system for Pennsylvania nursing homes. Three factors are used to determine a nursing home’s overall rating:
— The state health inspection score
— Nursing staff ratios
— Quality ratings that are based on 11 criteria

According to CMS, a whopping 40% of nursing homes in Pennsylvania have a rating of just 1 or 2 stars out of 5 overall. Pennsylvania is the second-worst state in terms of CMS ratings after Texas. The Nursing Home Report Card recently gave the state an overall D grade, but an F in nursing staff and staff hours. This means most nursing homes in Pennsylvania have inadequate staff to supervise and care for residents.

A shocking 96% of Pennsylvania nursing homes have deficiencies in at least one area with an average of just two hours of nursing care per day for each resident. To receive 5 stars, a facility must offer staffing level to provide at least 4-and-a-half hours of care per day per resident.

What to Do About Suspected Abuse
If you believe a loved one has been neglected or abused in a Pennsylvania nursing home, the Department of Health (DPH) recommends the following steps:

  • Speak with the nursing home administrator to possibly resolve the issue. Every nursing home must have a system to address concerns.
  • The next step is contacting the Department of Aging, which enforces the Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA).
  • Contact DPH directly to make a complaint. You can do this by calling (800) 254-5164 or using the online complaint form.

If your loved one has been injured or abused in a nursing home, your loved one has the right to recover compensation for the harm. Compensation can be used to pay for medical expenses and the cost to find another nursing facility while keeping your loved one comfortable while he or she gets better.

A nursing home abuse attorney in Pennsylvania can help guide you through this process while ensuring your loved one’s rights are protected. Contact Edelstein Martin & Nelson today for a free consultation with an injury lawyer to get the help you need ensuring your loved one is protected.