Nursing home neglect takes many forms in Pennsylvania

For Pennsylvania readers, nothing may be more important than protecting the safety and security of their elderly loved ones. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect is a serious problem across our state and elsewhere, and it may be beneficial for our readers to be aware of some of the signs that may point to neglect or abuse. According to one adult protective services worker, there are numerous forms of neglect or abuse that families can be on the lookout for.

It is important to remember that abuse or neglect can be physical, financial, mental or emotional. Physical signs of abuse may include unsanitary living conditions, physical harm or dangerous situations not being prevented, such as falls or accidents. Financial neglect or abuse is common among the elderly, as these individuals are often more trusting of others. When a third party is managing their bills or financial accounts, families may not be aware of mismanagement until it is too late.

Mental and emotional neglect or abuse can include degrading comments, abusive language and result in depression. Families may notice their loved one withdrawing from activities and self-care. All of the above forms of neglect or abuse can result in mental or emotional anguish for elderly individuals. What's more, any type of neglect or abuse can have long-standing consequences for the victim and his or her loved ones.

While neglect and abuse can occur in other environments, nursing homes are unfortunately often the center for these devastating behaviors. For Pennsylvania readers, recognizing the signs of nursing home neglect or abuse and taking the appropriate action can dramatically increase the chance of their loved one making a complete recovery. Appropriate action may include investigating their legal rights and options to restore their loved one to their fullest livelihood.

Source: Alexandria Times, Senior Corner: Spotting senior neglect, Velda Weathers, Dec. 26, 2013

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