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The disconcerting existence of nursing home neglect

No matter how careful you may be in choosing a place here in Pennsylvania where your elderly loved one can receive much needed care, no guarantee exists that appropriate care will be given. Sadly, nursing home neglect is not new. Far too many families discover that the loved ones they entrusted to a nursing home ended up harmed.

When visiting a loved one, you may already know to search for bed sores, signs of dehydration or malnutrition and signs of being over-medicated. Your loved one's behavior could also hold clues, along with any unexplained injuries such as abrasions or bruises. If you find out that falling happens way too often, that could be a sign that staff members are not checking on or assisting your loved one as they should.

If you suspect neglect, or abuse, you could benefit from discussing the situation with an attorney. Nursing homes are required to keep detailed records, which could provide some indication of what has -- or has not -- been done. An investigation could also uncover witnesses and evidence. Your loved one's doctor might also provide evidence through the documentation of any injuries. All of these steps could lead to the filing of a lawsuit.

No elderly person, either here in Pennsylvania or elsewhere, should be treated poorly. Nursing home neglect is a pervasive problem that occurs far too often. If your loved one suffers from it, you may decide that legal action is necessary not only to receive restitution for any damages, but also to help prevent anyone else from suffering the same fate. Our elders deserve our respect and care, and should be able to spend the last years of their lives in comfort with the care they need.

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