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Chronic Pain and Workplace Performance

One of the main problems surrounding symptoms of chronic pain is how it influences every aspect of your life.  Chronic pain is often not a disorder that changes its symptoms or decreases across situations.  Due to this, chronic pain can lead to problems in other aspects of your life, such as socially, athletically, and in workplace performance.


An article by Human Resource Executive Online addressed this problem in one of their online articles.  According to the article, HR professionals have an obligation to look for the signs of chronic pain and approach employees about it when appropriate.  Additionally, these professionals should familiarize themselves with the laws and regulations surrounding disabilities (professionally diagnosed chronic pain is considered both a medical condition and a disability). Workers with chronic pain do have rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act.  The article also acknowledged that chronic pain can carry stigma for the suffer, so HR representatives should be sensitive when broaching the subject.  Many companies also have infrastructure in place to support people with disabilities, so HR representatives should work to try and get those services put in place for the sufferer of chronic pain.   Overall, it is prudent on the part of the employee and HR representative to work together to discuss the medical condition and come to grips with how that will affect their job performance.


Chronic pain is a tricky diagnosis in terms of finding the right medication combination that will work, but will not lead to overmedication.  Working with your physician and seeing what is right for you is the only way to find an effective, realistic pain management treatment.  Chronic pain that is the result of an accident caused by another is even more frustrating!  If you would like more information about this page or central Pennsylvania attorney Doug Stoehr's areas of practice surrounding injuries that lead to chronic pain, contact our Altoona, Pennsylvania, law firm by calling 814-946-4100.

High Turnover Rate For Nursing Home Attendants

The nursing home industry is one that is experiencing growth right now, since many aging Americans from the "baby boom" generation are beginning to retire and some decide to enter into nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  With the boom in patients, nursing home are either hiring more attendants or giving attendants longer work hours.  Unfortunately, nursing homes also have a high turnover rate for employees.

A recent article by USA Today talked at length about this phenomenon.  According to the newspaper article, staff shortages are common in nursing home facilities and turnover rates are high.  Between states, the annual turnover rate is between 60-100%, according to research from the Institute for the Future of Aging Services.This is due in large part to the low wages paid by many nursing homes.  Over 20 states have regulated the industry, resulting in minimum-wage protection, some staff members do still make less than $7.25 an hour.  Additionally, according to the article, "Since 2000, there has been a 23% increase in home health care employment, while salaries have remained the same, about $21,000 a year, according to a study conducted by Michael Hicks of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University".  Overall, low wages and little to no benefits are leading to low desirability and high turnover rates for these jobs.

This new insight into nursing home employees will be helpful in allowing nursing homes to realize how to care for and better serve their patients and staff. With this in mind, nursing homes may be able to modify their practices and staffing procedures to decrease their incidents of negligence, abuse, and under/inefficient staffing.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania lawyer specializing in nursing home abuse and negligence.  For more information on his practice, please call his office at 814-946-4100.

Take a Deeper Look Into Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are a pretty ubiquitous feature of most cities and populated areas.  Although many people know generally what nursing homes are like and what features they have, some do not know the many varieties within these facilities.  All nursing homes are not created equal and there is a wide variance in layout, amenities, features, and programs.

AARP, through a blog series, took a look at the varieties of living options for seniors.  Through looking at different types of nursing homes in particular, they discovered that almost all facilities have these 7 things in common:

  • on-site physical therapy and rehabilitation services
  • activity programming
  • transportation to medical appointments
  • all meals and snacks
  • medical care (i.e. IV therapy, wound care, end-of-life care)
  • medication management and administration
  • personal care (dressing, bathing, transferring, toileting)

If you are interested in learning more about the different options of elder and end-of-life care, the AARP website and blog may be a good source of information for you.  They have articles covering all types of living options for elderly people, as well as information about MediCare and MediCaid as it relates to those living options.

As stated earlier, not all nursing homes are created equal.  This also means that not all nursing homes provide the same level and quality of care.  With this in mind, you will need to research possible nursing home options extensively to avoid the possibility of negligence or abuse of a loved one, as well as under/inefficient staffing.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania lawyer specializing in nursing home abuse and negligence.  For more information on his practice, please call our office at 814-946-4100.

Spring Biking Is Here!

Spring is finally here! That means many more people will be outside enjoying the weather and riding their bicycles.  However, this also means that these same people are at a higher risk for accident and injury on the road.  According to some reports, about half a million people each year need medical treatment as a result of of bike accidents, and almost a thousand people die each year. Most of these deaths are the result of a brain injury.  In general, many of these accidents involve a brain injury too, some of which are difficult or impossible to fully recover from.  


So, how can you keep yourself safe while out biking?


  • Obviously, wearing a helmet should be a top priority!
  • Make sure your bike is safe to ride.  Check out the tires, seats, brakes, and chain frequently.
  • Place reflectors on your bike so you can be seen from all angles. 
  • Make sure you leave plenty of space between cars--both moving and parked--when riding! Even if a car isn't in motion, you don't want to be hit if someone opens their car door near you.

 
Throughout the warmer months and through the end of fall, many people gravitate outside to run, bike, walk, and spend time with their families. Although this can provide an excellent outlet for fun and recreation, it can also lead to potential bicycle and pedestrian accidents. When driving around, be alert for pedestrians and bicyclists on the road, especially small children that may not be easily seen. By being alert and considerate and sharing the road, you will avoid serious injuries and complications to those around you. If you plan to bike or run outside, wear bright colors and make sure that you give appropriate and clear turning signals with your arms so that drivers know when and where you intend to turn.


Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr works with clients who have been injured in pedestrian and bicycle accidents. If you would like a consultation regarding your personal injury, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100.


Thank you to Loyola University Chicago for the helpful tips! Read more about bicycle safety on their website.

Taxi Hits Two Pedestrians In Pittsburgh

In Pittsburgh, news reports note that a taxi hit two pedestrians last month.  One of the pedestrians unfortunately passed away as a result.  According to reports of the accident, the taxi initially collided with another car before going onto the curb.  It then hit the walkers as they were crossing the street. The accident caused a section of the city to close and many emergency responders quickly arrived at the scene.  Sadly, this is a situation which likely could have been avoided if drivers had taken more care in the city steets.  

Pedestrian accidents are frightening and occur without warning.  Additionally, the consequences of pedestrian accidents can also be emotionally and physically damaging. Attorney Doug Stoehr is a lawyer specializing in personal injury and services the western and central Pennsylvania area.  If you feel that you have been wrongfully hurt in a pedestrian accident and would like to consult with him about a possible personal injury claim, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100.

Hotel Ceiling Collapses on Guest, Lawsuit Results

Talk about a memorable hotel stay, and not for the right reasons! In the Philly area, a man is suing a local hotel for damages he sustained while staying on premises.  According to the PennRecord.com article, the injured party is suing Neshaminy Inn in Bucks County after a bathroom ceiling collapsed on his head and neck while he was staying there.  The accident resulted in in serious injuries across his body. The plantiff is suing the inn and other related parties in excess of $50,000.   

Although this is a more unusual case, personal injuries can happen when you least expect them.  This includes situations in which you are injured on the property of another, such as through improperly maintained parking lots, sidewalks, and entryways, as well as when potentially dangerous areas are not clearly marked.  If you've suffered a personal injury due to the fault of another, it may be time to consult an attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is skilled in handling personal injury cases across the central and western Pennsylvania area.  If you are interested in talking more about your potential legal claim, please call his Altoona, PA firm at 814-946-4100.

Take Care With Spinal Cord Injuries

If you've ever been in an accident, such as a car or bicycle accident, you know how painful and persistent those injuries can be.  However, if you also happened to have injured your spine, the lasting damages can be even more severe. What are some of the expenses that occur after you've injured your spine? Take a look below.  

Medical treatment alone following a spinal injury can be exceptionally expensive, and requires a good deal of extended care.  You may require rehabilitation, mental health counseling, medication, and potentially permanent changes in your lifestyle and mobility. If you are permanently paralyzed, your medical expenses may total over $1,000,000 in your first year post-injury alone.  Some of your treatment costs may not be covered by insurance.  Additionally, you may find yourself paying large sums for lots of little add-on costs, such as gas to and from visits, meals while you're out, and wear and tear on your cars.  Of course, spinal injuries often also lead to a loss of income or a change in the ability to perform your job. 

If you've been in an accident, such as a motor vehicle or bike accident, and have suffered a spinal injury as a result, it may be time to consult an attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania lawyer who is skilled in handling these types of legal claims.  Call his office today at 814-946-4100 for a free initial consultation at his Altoona, PA firm. 

Fall Accident At Macy's Settled Out Of Court

According to the website PennRecord.com, a site that highlights many PA lawsuits, a case was recently settled in the Philly area regarding a slip and fall incident in Macy's.  Within the article, it states that a woman was injured at a Macy's department store after tripping and falling on a rubber-edged floor mat near the entrance/exit area of the store.  As a result of her fall, she sustained serious facial, arm, back, and leg injuries. The long-term effects of her fall also included secondary issues including insomnia, depression, and anxiety.  The case was settled outside of court for an undisclosed amount.  

Slip and fall injuries may result from improper care or maintenance of indoor and outdoor facilities, like floors, sidewalks, driveways, and/or steps.  Owners may not promptly shovel their sidewalks, pour rock salt on their steps, or fail to perform other types of common and expected interior and exterior maintenance measures.  If an injury occurs due to the improper maintenance of such areas, the owners of the property may be liable for the injury.

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury from a slip and fall accident, it might be time to consult with an attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer located in Altoona, PA who serves the western and central Pennsylvania area.  For more information on his legal practice, please call his office at 814-946-4100.


To learn more, read the original article here:
http://pennrecord.com/stories/511098794-slip-and-fall-against-macy-s-settled

You Could Be Responsible For Your Parent's Unpaid Nursing Home Bills

Did you know that you could potentially be responsible for your parent's unpaid nursing home and assisted living bills? This may be a scary thought, but in many states with filial support laws, many families are faced with this problem. 

 According to a recent Forbes.com article, filial support laws were originally derived from 16th century New England's "poor laws" and, at one time, 90% of the states had such laws.  Now 29 states still have filial support laws on the books, including Pennsylvania.  Although throughout time many of these laws were not exercised, they are being enforced at a higher rate more recently.  Many people that this is due to the rising and extended cost of healthcare for the elderly. In one recent Pennsylvania case, a nursing home successfully received over $90,000 in payment from the son of a resident who was unable to pay for her care and fled the country.

One of the ways in which Pennsylvania assesses the ability to apply filial support laws is when the elderly parent has been abused or neglect by their care-providing institution, such as nursing homes or assisted living facilities. It also assesses whether the child of the non-paying parent has the financial resources and ability to pay the providing institution all or part of the bills.

In cases of elder abuse or neglect, it is very important to consult with a lawyer before making any decisions that may result in large legal and/or financial ramifications.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania who takes cases for older Pennsylvanians who have been abused or neglected.  For more information on his Altoona, PA area practice, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit  his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com.  Attorney Stoehr takes cases in Blair and the seven surrounding counties. 

Want to know more? Check out the original Forbes.com story here.

PA Drivers Can "Ride On Red"!

Heads up, everyone! A new state law went into effect this past week. Called the "Ride on Red" law, it allows PA drivers to go through some red lights.  The law states that if a stop light isn't responsive and if no one else is coming around you, you can legally drive through the intersection on the red light.  It's consider a common sense law to alleviate some problems in vehicles that can't be detected by the existing red light system, such as motorcycles. Use common sense and caution when taking advantage of this law!

Although this new law is now in effect, it is your duty as a member of your community to drive your car safely, responsibly, and with regard for the well-being and safety of others.  This is especially true to remember in cases where you've been drinking! Call a designated driver and save the life of not only yourself, but other innocent bystanders.  Also play it safe and do not engage in distracted driving, such as talking on your cell phone or texting.

However, if you have been the victim of another's negligent driving, Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central PA area attorney who takes cases for automobile accident victims.  These cases may occur in situations where people have been injured or passed away due to the fault of another person, such as through car/pedestrian, bike, motorcycle, and truck accidents. For more information regarding his practice or to set up an initial consultation, please call his office at 814-946-4100. 

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