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Posts tagged "altoona elder abuse lawyer"

CARIE Works For The Rights Of The Elderly

This post is a version of a story we originally brought to your attention several years ago, but is, unfortunately, still very relevant today.  Please read this article to learn more about advocating for the rights of our state's senior population!

Nursing Home Residents Have Trouble In Hospitals

It is not uncommon for elderly nursing home residents to be in poor health or in need of medical assistance. In some of these situations, an emergency room visit may be essential for that patient.  However, an emergency room visit may also lead to infection in the nursing home later on.

Mifflin County Nursing Home Is Being Sued

In Mifflin County, a personal care home is currently the subject of a civil lawsuit.  According to the news report, the Meadowview Manor home failed to keep the facility up to safe living standards, as well engaging in some financially questionable practices. The home, which housed more than 30 residents, is under fire for failing to provide adequate heat for its residents in the cold, maintain a working sewer and electrical system,  keep smoke detectors running, and generally provide safe and sanitary conditions.  To learn more, please click the link at the bottom of this post.  

Horrific Nursing Home Report In Our State

A Pennsylvania nursing home is under increased scrutiny after receiving complaints cockroaches, filthy conditions, and verbal abuse.  According to a news report published by ABC27, a Columbia, PA nursing home called  Susquehanna Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is providing substandard living conditions for its residents.  Former employees complained to supervisors about masses of cockroaches in the kitchens, among other problems.  After one employee was fired for speaking out, she posted a video on Facebook to show the conditions and warn the community about the problems. Former employees stated that they felt like the nursing home residents were not safe and were not being treated as human beings.  At that same time, the nursing home was found out of compliance eight times in the period of one year, including allegations of maggots and dirty wheelchairs.    

Elderly Becoming Victims of Social Media Misuse

Believe it or not, social media harassment is becoming a significant problem for elderly residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. According to a local report from ProPublica (in partnership with NPR) there has been a significant amount of Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram photos and videos posted by nursing home employees in recent years.  These photos and videos highlight residents in compromising positions, such as being naked and/or abused, covered in excrement, or deceased.  As a result, federal health officials have stated that they plan to crack down on these employees.  One such measure they recommend is having a clear policy for all workers that prohibit staff from taking potentially demeaning pictures of their residents.  Additionally, they are urging state officials to quickly investigate claims, report offenders, and recommend disciplinary action.   

Throwback Thursday: Pennsylvania's Elder Abuse Task Force

Our Throwback Thursday blog post this week is focusing on what Pennsylvania officials are doing to protect our rapidly growing elderly population.  To check out more about a task force created in 2006 to address our aging population's needs, read below!
Did you know that Pennsylvania has its own Elder Abuse Task Force? Created in 2006, this state-wide initiative examines allegations of people  who cheat, deceive or abuse older Pennsylvanians.  The force is make up of a diverse group of participants, including prosecutors and support staff. As part of their duties, the force also has a public education component.  PA also has an elder abuse hotline, which can be reached by calling the number (866) 623-2137. According to an article by StateCollege.com, "The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has the third highest percentage of elderly residents in the United States with nearly 2 million residents over the age of 65. In addition, the fastest growing segment of Pennsylvania's population is those who are 85 years of age or older.".  To read more from the original article, please click here. 
Pennsylvania also has a state-wide Elder Law Task Force that examines Pennsylvania's issues with guardianship, abuse/neglect, and access to justice for the state's elderly population. This special task force is chaired by Justice Debra Todd.  The main aims of the task force include suggesting amendments for court rules, as well as recommendations for education and best practices involving the care of senior citizens. The task force has been given one year to complete its work.
Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania.  He 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.

Governor Wolf Signs Executive Order For Seniors

There is a new executive order by Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf that is attempting to improve the lives of both PA's seniors, disabled citizens, and those who work with them.  Within this order, Governor Wolf is allowing the workers who provide services to seniors and disabled persons to choose a representative to discuss workers' concerns and suggestions with state officials.  However, some of our state's citizens appear unhappy with this order. On what side does your opinion fall? Take a look at the opinion article in a recent edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and let us know what you think!

Common Scams That Affect The Elderly

Seniors beware! Some areas of the country are reporting an increase of the number of scams, especially now that the warmer months are upon us.  Seniors are unfortunately one of the most susceptible groups for these scammers to target.  Most recently, there have been reports of funeral cons, exploiting grandchildren, and home improvement scams.  To read more about these issues, please click on this link to the Investopedia.com article.

Nursing Home Buyouts Becoming More Common

It appears that many Pennsylvania nursing homes have gone out of business or have been sold in the past few years.  Recently, a Montgomery County nursing home was sold for $41 million to a large, regional healthcare agency.  Prior to this purchase, the nursing home had recently been run by the county, which had been cited in recent years as being a significant financial drain.  Many counties in Pennsylvania used to run their own nursing homes, but the trend has shifted towards selling their facilities to outside organizations.  As a part of this particular buyout, the new health care group agreed to keep all current employees who wished to stay at their current salary and seniority levels.
If you or a loved one are in a nursing home that is in the middle of being purchased by another organization, you should take care to be aware of any changes in staffing or policies that might affect the care that your family member receives.  Improper care could also lead to elder abuse or neglect, which is a growing problem among Pennsylvania's aging population.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer who takes nursing home abuse and neglect cases in the western and central Pennsylvania areas.  He takes cases in Blair and the seven surrounding counties, and his practice is based in Altoona, PA.  For more information on his firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com.       
Pennsylvania has set up a statewide elder abuse hotline, which can be accessed by calling this number: 1-800-490-8505.  The hotline is open 24 hours a day and can be used a tipline to report activity related to abuse, neglect, exploitation, identity theft, or abandonment of an elderly PA resident.  Pennsylvania also has local Area Agencies on Aging that can assist in these situations. 
To read more about the nursing home purchase, please click on the original article here.

Prescription Errors in Nursing Homes

Many nursing home residents are on a variety of prescription drugs to regulate their medical conditions.  These drugs are recorded and administered by the staff of the nursing home.  However, the journey from the pharmacist to the patient is a way for medication errors to occur.  The general public is starting to hear about these errors and some cases are being nationally publicized.
An article by the New York Times exposed an investigation into nursing homes in California that have had a high number of prescription drug errors by pharmacists.  According to the article, "In reports obtained by a local newspaper, the department found that in 18 of the 32 investigations conducted in California nursing homes between May 2010 and June 2011 pharmacists failed to red-flag cases in which residents were inappropriately prescribed powerful antipsychotic medications like Seroquel, a drug used to treat schizophrenia. Pharmacists also overlooked or approved cases in which medications were prescribed at questionable levels or in unsafe combinations that could put patients at risk of seizures, accidents or even death, according to the public health department".    The United States Department of Health is also keeping an eye on this phenomenon after a recent study it conducted in which  it was found that, in nursing homes across the country, at least 40 percent of all Medicare claims for antipsychotics, are "inappropriate, given in excessive doses, given for too long, given without the need for use, without adequate monitoring or "in the presence of adverse consequences" and should be reduced or discontinued."
It is important to monitor your loved one's medication, including type and dosage, in order to help minimize the risk of injury or illness.  If your loved one has been injured in a nursing home setting and if you feel that the nursing home has improperly medicated your loved one, it may be time to seek legal assistance.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury attorney specializing in nursing home abuse and negligence. For more information on him and his firm, please call us at (814) 946-4100.
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