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Nursing home neglect prevalent nationwide, including Pennsylvania

Recent media reports about residents of nursing homes who were up to their waists in water as they were sitting in their wheel chairs during the devastation of Hurricane Harvey underscored the vulnerability of seniors in facilities nationwide, even in Pennsylvania. The truth is that even when there are no adverse weather conditions, nursing home neglect is far too common. The inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued an alert that called for action to be taken urgently.

The alert underscored the number of shocking incidents in which seniors and other nursing home residents end up in emergency rooms after suffering severe neglect, often including broken bones, rape and more. The IG called on families to make an effort to pay frequent visits to loved ones in nursing homes. Any signs of neglect or abuse should be reported to the local police immediately.

Reportedly, one in three baby boomers will land in a nursing home at some stage -- even those who do not need permanent care may have to spend rehabilitation time in a nursing home after major surgery. An example was mentioned of a man who needed rehabilitation care after knee surgery. Sadly, he died after neglect resulted in a bedsore that became infected. After several surgical procedures, he needed dialysis treatment and a ventilator. Life support was taken off a week before he would have turned 69 years old.

This is but one of many sad cases in which nursing home neglect led to serious consequences. Pennsylvania residents who notice even the slightest signs of neglect while visiting loved ones can consult with an attorney who is experienced in protecting the rights of nursing home residents. A lawyer can initiate an independent investigation to determine the facts before taking the appropriate action.

Source: New York Post, "America's deadly nursing homes", Betsy McCaughey, Aug. 29, 2017

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