Seeking long-term care for an aging or ill loved one can be a difficult, but necessary, task and the majority of these decisions are made after much consideration as to which facility will provide the best care. Unfortunately, even the most careful deliberation may not uncover all nursing home abuse allegations. A recent report may help Pennsylvania residents who may be researching options for their own loved ones.
A CNN investigation concerning the issue of abuse at nursing facilities has unearthed disturbing reports of rape and other sexual assaults at homes located in various states. Officials at these facilities have blamed several facets of the laws regulating abuse allegations as the reasons why some reports are not available to families seeking information. Instead, because the alleged victims are often not considered credible, assailants are not held accountable for their alleged assaults.
The cable news reporters highlighted several stories where employees who were entrusted with the care of the residents instead violated that trust and caused emotional and physical injuries to the victims who were unable to protect themselves. Only after witnesses came forward with accounts were some of the perpetrators prosecuted for their actions. In some cases, victims who reported abuse to their loved ones were not believed as the staff refuted allegations or any history of unsubstantiated allegations of abuse.
Until the laws that regulate how allegations of nursing home abuse incidences are investigated, Pennsylvania families may elect to request as much information as possible when interviewing homes they are considering as residences for loved ones. More information may allow them a greater measure of assurance that the placement will be safe. Furthermore, when they suspect that any type of abuse or neglect may have occurred, they may consult with an attorney who is experienced in elder law in order to hold those responsible accountable for the harm they may have caused through monetary consequences.
Source: CNN, "Sick, dying and raped in America's nursing homes", Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken, Feb. 22, 2017