When families in Pennsylvania make the decision to place a loved one in an elder care facility, they do so trusting that the facility and its employees will protect the safety and well-being of their family member. Most nursing homes fulfill this responsibility, but in some instances, residents suffer from nursing home abuse, either at the hands of employees at the facility or from other residents as a result of attacks from which employees fail to protect victims. One out-of-state family claims that their loved one died as a result of a sustained attack at the hands of another resident with a history of violence.
According to reports, the 82-year-old victim was suffering from Alzheimer's when she accidentally walked into another patient's room. The family of the woman claims that the patient in that room, an 83-year-old man, beat her over an extended period of time. They further claim that the nursing home attempted to downplay the abuse, only listing a laceration, scratch and hematoma as injuries when she was transferred to the hospital.
However, doctors at the hospital gave a much grimmer view of her injuries, claiming that she had fractures to her neck and lower back and broken ribs and a punctured lung in addition to extensive injuries to her face. She ultimately passed away. The man who allegedly injured her is said to have a history of violence, reportedly including one or more incidents of concern.
Unfortunately, the facility where this incident is said to have occurred has allegedly been inundated with complaints over the last few years. People in Pennsylvania and other states who entrust the care of their loved ones to a nursing home have faith that appropriate care will be provided. Nursing home abuse is unacceptable and can have devastating consequences. There is legal recourse for victims, including family members in the case of a fatality such as this. A successfully presented case could potentially help with the financial repercussions as well as force facilities to institute changes that will protect others.
Source: wivb.com, "Records prove nursing home downplayed woman's injuries that turned out to be fatal", Dave Greber, Sept. 1, 2016