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Prevalence of nursing home abuse and neglect alarming

As people age, they can sometimes become unable to properly care for themselves. This, combined with increasing medical needs, leads many families in Pennsylvania to place their loved ones in nursing homes, expecting that the residential facilities will provide the care that they cannot. Unfortunately, some statistics indicate that nursing home abuse is an issue for many patients.

On any given day, there are approximately 15,000 nursing homes in the United States that house approximately 1.4 million patients. Unfortunately, a recent survey reveals that out of 2,000 patients questioned, 44 percent reported that they had been abused. Many more -- 95 percent -- reported being the victims of neglect or having witnessed someone else being neglected.

There are several signs that could be indicators of neglect or abuse. For example, bed sores, which develop when a person stays in the same position for an extended period of time, are a cause of concern. These sores are a particular hazard because they could become infected. Additionally, signs of dehydration and malnutrition, such as sudden weight loss and unsanitary conditions, could be causes for concern.

Nursing home abuse and neglect could happen for a variety of reasons, including staff that is overworked and inadequately trained. Regardless of the reasons, the effects of such treatment can have serious consequences and could even result in death. Those in Pennsylvania who have suffered -- or have loved ones who suffered -- have legal options available to address such mistreatment. In fact, taking legal action now could ultimately protect others in the future.

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