Discovering that your loved one suffers from abuse at their assisted living facility in Philadelphia can be shocking. While assisted living facilities are generally not as heavily regulated as skilled nursing homes, they nevertheless have to keep residents free from abuse and neglect.
If you suspect or know that a facility is responsible for abuse and neglect of your loved one, your first priority will be to protect your relative from any further harm, which can include removing them from the facility immediately. You can also inform law enforcement and contact Pennsylvania’s adult protective services at the Department of Human Services (DHS).
Abuse of any kind can have a number of detrimental effects on a senior, affecting their physical as well as emotional health negatively. If your loved one suffered injuries and other damages, you should consult with a Philadelphia assisted living abuse lawyer at your earliest convenience. You could potentially take the assisted living facility to court and recover compensation for medical expenses and other monetary losses. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now and take advantage of a free consultation: (800) 794-0444.
General Signs of Assisted Living Abuse
Unfortunately, relatives can potentially miss the signs of abuse on their loved ones. Some types of abuse do not show clear signs and symptoms. While it can be easy to detect physical abuse due to obvious injuries such as fractures, emotional abuse and other types of elder abuse may be much harder to detect. Regular visits can help with noticing any unusual changes in your loved one’s demeanor. Some signs that a senior could suffer from abuse at their assisted living facility can include:
- Bruises or broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Weight loss and malnourishment
- Unexplained infections and sexually transmitted diseases
- Sudden memory loss and mental decline
- New anxiety or depression
- Social isolation
- Poor personal hygiene
- Unexplained changes in financial circumstances
- Missing valuables
If you detect any worrying signs and symptoms in your loved one, try to initiate an open and honest conversation with them in order to find out what the reason for any changes might be. In some cases, seniors may be too afraid or ashamed to speak out against caregivers or other abusers.
In this case, you can consult with a medical professional to find out why your loved one’s physical and/or mental health might be declining. You could also consider speaking to a dedicated Philadelphia assisted living abuse lawyer for help and advice.
Types of Abuse in Assisted Living Facilities
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), elder abuse is recognized as a growing and serious problem in our society. Moreover, it can be challenging to determine the scope of elder abuse as many cases remain underreported. The main types of elder abuse include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, and general neglect.
Physical abuse can include a wide range of physically violent acts to inflict harm and pain on the victim. Physical abuse can include hitting, shoving, and punching a senior. Signs that your loved one may be suffering from physical abuse can include, among others:
- Unexplained fractures
- Extensive bruising
- Cuts and burns
- Signs of restraint
Emotional and Verbal Abuse
Emotional and verbal abuse can potentially speed up the mental and physical decline of a senior. Emotional abuse can include isolating a senior, humiliating them in front of others, ignoring their requests for assistance, and other such behaviors. If your loved one shows marked character changes or seems fearful of certain caregivers, you may want to investigate further. Witnessing staff verbally abusing other residents can point to what happens to your loved one when you are not around.
Sexual abuse of the elderly can include any unwanted romantic or sexual behaviors such as rape, unwanted nudity, or unwanted touching. Seniors living in assisted living facilities may be more vulnerable to sexual abuse, especially those suffering from dementia and other cognitive or physical conditions. Warning signs that relatives should investigate can include bloody underwear or pain and bruising in the genital region.
Financial exploitation is not uncommon in assisted living facilities. The perpetrators could be staff, other residents, or visitors to the property. If you notice any valuables or cash missing, or there are suddenly unpaid bills, you may wish to pay closer attention. Your loved one could be the victim of financial exploitation.
While those living in assisted living facilities are generally able to lead more independent lives than those in nursing homes, they may still require daily assistance with tasks such as personal hygiene, meal preparation, and cleaning their apartment. An assisted living facility can be negligent if your relative suffers from general neglect such as malnourishment or infections due to a lack of hygiene.
Your Philadelphia Assisted Living Abuse Lawyer Can Help
Abuse of vulnerable seniors is a truly despicable crime that can be frightening and upsetting for an individual and heartbreaking for their family. However, your loved one has legal rights, and you could hold a negligent assisted living facility to account for your relative’s suffering and financial damages.
An assisted living facility is generally responsible for keeping residents safe from abuse and neglect. Management of the facility must ensure adequate numbers of employees are always present on-site, helping residents with daily tasks and other needs. If an assisted living facility fails to keep residents safe and adequately cared for, they could be liable for your damages.
Your Philadelphia assisted living abuse lawyer can handle all types of abuse cases, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and others. We work on a contingency basis, which means that when we take on your case, you do not have to pay any attorney’s fees upfront.
Handling elder abuse cases can be challenging and requires in-depth knowledge of the applicable laws and regulations. However, you do not have to struggle with this on your own. We can potentially assist you with recovering the compensation you and your loved one are entitled to. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now and find out how we could help you: (800) 794-0444.