Altoona Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer, Representing Families Across Blair County
Need to consult with an experienced and compassionate Altoona nursing home abuse lawyer? At Senior Justice Law Firm, nursing home negligence cases are our law firm’s focus. This is all that we do. Let our Pennsylvania nursing home neglect lawyers guide you on your journey to justice.
Call, email, or live chat with our Altoona nursing home abuse attorney now to receive a completely free case consultation. We charge no out of pocket costs or fees and we only get paid if we win your case. Call Senior Justice Law Firm today to speak with a narrowly focused Altoona nursing home lawyer now at (888) 375-9998.
Altoona Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Can Be Stopped if Reported
Altoona, Pennsylvania isn’t so much of a tourist hotspot, nor is it densely populated—however, this suburban feel without the hustle and bustle of the younger crowd adds a pleasant, quiet atmosphere that attracts retirement-aged people from all across the region. Despite its small size, Altoona is home to four nursing homes right in the center of the city and a total of 15 within 25 miles of the city center. That’s more options than average for a city the size of Altoona, and the reason is simple: because of its unique blend of beauty, peace and quiet, and affordability, Altoona is a popular place to retire.
Unfortunately, the majority of Altoona nursing homes don’t quite live up to people’s expectations when they envision a safe and secure retirement. With a slew of below-average ratings for staff and health inspections alongside numerous federal fines, Altoona long-term care facilities aren’t strangers to allegations of abuse and neglect.
Regardless of whether your loved one lives in a well-rated Altoona facility or one with less than stellar reviews, it is critical that you remain attentive. Spotting nursing home abuse or negligence early could mean the difference between life and death—not only for your loved one, but for others who live at the nursing home as well. Here’s what you need to know to stay prepared and informed.
Altoona, Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse News
Altoona has remained relatively undercover in regards to nursing home abuse scandals appearing in public news sources; part of this comes down to the types of violations found within facilities, and some of it is due to Altoona’s relatively small size compared to other powerhouse locations in Pennsylvania, such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. However, a lack of negative publicity doesn’t equate to a completely clean history.
Warner’s Home for the Aged found themselves in hot water after an 80-year-old nursing home resident named Kenneth McGuire passed away suddenly. He had only been living in the care facility for a total of 12 days, and during this time, he developed bedsores on his arms, buttocks, legs, and other areas. Previously largely self-sufficient, McGuire’s condition took his family by surprise. This sudden change in wellbeing resulted in both the nursing home’s owner and aides facing charges of neglect, as McGuire’s health decline was attributed to immediate neglect resulting in malnutrition and wasting. The doctor at the scene testified in court that––upon observing the nature of the resident’s body––it was one of the worst cases of neglect he had identified in three decades.
Worst Rated Altoona Nursing Homes
Unfortunately, cases like this are more common than you may think; Pennsylvania is ranked as one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to nursing home quality, and the ratings of the nursing homes in Altoona bear witness to this trend.
The three lowest rated* long-term care facilities in Altoona are all rated two stars out of five, each currently* rated as below average. They are:
Altoona Center for Nursing Care
1020 Green Avenue
Altoona, PA 16601
Maybrook Hills Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center
301 Valley View Boulevard
Altoona, PA 16602
Guardian Healthcare Altoona
700 S. Cayuga Avenue
Altoona, PA 16602
All three nursing homes are ranked well below average by Medicare for both their staffing and health inspections. In addition, Altoona Center for Nursing Care has received one federal fine within the last three years, Maybrook Hills Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center has been penalized with six federal fines, and Guardian Healthcare Altoona has had three federal fines––all within the last three years.
Lawsuits Against Altoona Nursing Homes
The following lawsuits* have been filed by Pennsylvania families suing an Altoona area skilled nursing facility for neglect. Below are Altoona nursing home negligence lawsuits.
State of Pennsylvania vs. Grane Healthcare & Altoona Center for Nursing Care
Attorney General Bruce R. Beemer filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Grane Healthcare, which operates Altoona Center for Nursing Care at 1020 Green Ave. in Altoona, Cambria Care Center at 429 Manor Drive in Ebensburg and LaurelWood Care Center at 100 Woodmont Road in Upper Yoder Township. The lawsuit alleges that Grane made promises on its website regarding staffing that it did not keep. The Altoona nursing home case further alleges that Grane billed residents for services that were not provided.
*Each case is different. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome or indicate an expected outcome on your particular case. The above prior lawsuit information is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney. This individual case information above comes from publicly filed allegations gathered from the plaintiff’s complaint. The allegations in the complaint have not been proven true. These cases are not the work of this law firm. The inspection results and Medicare ratings are provided from public government agency surveys. The state Department of Health conducts a survey of all nursing home facilities at least once every 15 months. The deficiencies listed on this page may have been corrected after the date of the inspection and date of publishing this material. Citations, ratings, statistics, and deficiencies are current as of the date of this post (11-17-2022) and will change later on. The inspection findings published are not complete. You may find the most up to date information at medicare.gov. This material is not endorsed by the facility noted or by any governmental agency. Speak with an attorney immediately if you believe you have a viable case against a nursing home, assisted living facility, or medical facility.
Nursing Home Abuse: The Signs and Symptoms
Abuse can come in various forms, making it difficult to identify, especially for the layperson. Sometimes, it takes time to make certain that abuse is actually occurring. However, if you think your loved one’s life is in danger at a nursing home facility, do not hesitate to reach out to authorities immediately. The nursing home may tell you that they have the situation under control or that you have to use a certain ambulance company or medical team in order to address the issue; this is not true. Immediate danger can be reported using 911. If you have questions about whether emergency responders are necessary, calling your local non-emergency line is a great place to start.
If you do not have reason to believe that the person you love is in any immediate danger of harm, your next step should be to identify any indicators that they may be the victim of abuse or mistreatment. It can be difficult to parse these symptoms from some of the natural parts of getting older; for example, older people tend to trip and fall more often. However, a history of repeated falls, especially within a short period of time, is just one potential indicator that a nursing home is not doing its due diligence in its level of care.
Physical abuse is fairly easy to recognize on average. Injuries are typically visible on the patient’s body, usually in the form of bruises, bed sores, broken bones, or scrapes. It is the nursing home’s responsibility to ensure that their residents do not succumb to preventable accidents or become trapped in positions where they cannot help themselves with basic necessities, such as going to the bathroom or eating. Failure to provide for these needs constitutes abusive or negligent behavior.
Other types of abuse may occur in nursing homes with more insidious and less visible symptoms. Observe your loved one’s demeanor; if you feel that they are behaving out of character, showing signs of depression or anxiety, or even suffering from unexplained memory loss or an unwillingness to speak, these could be signs to seek help. Mental and even emotional or sexual abuse can manifest in behavioral or personality changes, which are just as valid as physical evidence. However, such symptoms are easily brushed off as part of a resident’s existing health problems (such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and so on).
You know your family member best; if you feel like something is amiss, don’t let long-term care facilities sway your opinion and stop you from taking proper action.
What Laws Defend Against Nursing Home Abuse in Altoona, PA?
Given the statistics and news regarding nursing homes in Altoona as well as Pennsylvania as a whole, it’s easy to see why legal support of residents in long-term care facilities is critical. In addition to basic federal regulations, Pennsylvania has passed codes that protect nursing home residents statewide, such as Pennsylvania Code Title 28.
This code enforces certain regulations for long-term nursing home facilities (located in chapters 201 to 211 of the code). The Pennsylvania Department of Health conducts annual inspections of long-term care facilities, and to ensure that nursing homes aren’t putting up a front, the inspections are unannounced. The aim of this program is to guarantee that long-term care facilities are strictly following both state and federal laws, even when they are not aware they’re being watched.
Supervisors and inspectors will examine the quality of life of the residents, as well as the quality of care that they receive. If violations are found, the department can revoke the licenses of the facilities, ban admission or readmission, impose penalties, and more depending on the kind and severity of the violations.
Pennsylvania law also protects the rights that nursing home residents have intrinsically thanks to their status as residents. Nursing home residents have the right to: (1) voice their concerns or complaints without being afraid of retaliation from their facilities, (2) be free from restraints unless they are a part of medical treatments, (3) have their own dignity and privacy upheld, and (4) have free and immediate access from family members and others. These extra protections are critical, as some nursing homes have been found to discharge residents if they are “problematic” to the facility or its bottom line—even if the resident has nowhere else to go.
The laws also regulate standards for giving nursing, dietary, physician, social, and dental services to the residents. Aside from that, Pennsylvania is a state that has filial responsibility statutes, which means that adult children are required to take care of and pay for their parents. Failure to do so entitles the parents to sue their children or other family members.
How Can I Report Nursing Home Abuse in Altoona?
Reporting nursing home abuse may seem complicated, but it’s actually much easier than you may think. There are many ways that you can file a complaint or even attempt a lawsuit. If you’re worried about your identity being publicized and wish to remain anonymous, a legal professional can help you navigate this path.
Many people are leery of attempting legal action against a nursing home, either because they believe it will be expensive or because they do not care about recovering money for damages. However, any reports or lawsuits that you file can have a dramatic impact on not only your family member’s quality of care, but also other residents. When facilities are penalized, they are more likely to change their practices.
Click the link to report nursing home abuse in Pennsylvania.
Filing a complaint to Pennsylvania’s Department of Health can be done through an online complaint form. You can also report an abuse case by emailing email@example.com. However, if you wish to speak to someone directly, you can call the Pennsylvania abuse hotline at 1-800-490-8505. Any documentation can be sent to their fax number at 717-772-2163.
If you do not have access to online options, you can mail your complaint to:
Division of Nursing Care Facilities Director
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Division of Nursing Care Facilities
626 Forster St., Room 526, Health and Welfare Building
Harrisburg PA 17120-0701
Like all states, Pennsylvania also has a long-term care ombudsman whose sole purpose is to protect the welfare of residents in nursing homes. In PA, this program is integrated closely into the Department of Aging. Ombudsman representatives can be reached at 717-783-8975, or you may share the details of your situation via email at LTCfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Altoona Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Case Consultation
Call, email, or live chat with our Altoona nursing home abuse attorney now to receive a completely free case consultation. Our Pennsylvania nursing home abuse attorneys handle cases across the state. Chances are we have experience handling claims against the company that owns the facility you intend to sue.
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