Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
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Bethlehem Nursing Home Negligence is Pervasive and a Lack of Staff Plagues Local Facilities
A former steel town located in eastern Pennsylvania, Bethlehem is home to approximately 75,000 residents, 17.9% of which are 65 or older. Bethlehem is unique in that it straddles both Lehigh and Northampton counties. In addition, with a relatively large senior population, Bethlehem is also home to eight nursing home facilities with several more facilities located in Lehigh County. Three of these facilities – Holy Family Manor, ManorCare Health Services – Bethlehem 2021, and ManorCare Health Services – Bethlehem 2029 – have over 200 beds and are considered “medium” sized facilities.
In July 2019, WFMZ-TV reported that a federal lawsuit had been filed against Cedarbrook Nursing Home in Lehigh County for causing the death of a resident. The suit alleged that the facility was “intentionally and grossly understaffed,” which led to a resident being dropped while she was being moved. The fall caused significant injuries which led to the resident’s death ten hours later. Moreover, the suit also claimed that the facility failed to maintain complete medical records for the resident in question.
Another nearby county-owned and operated nursing facility, Gracedale, is also allegedly suffering from nursing home understaffing, with the 3pm to 11pm shift being particularly short of staff. An employee told the Lehigh County Council that the staffing problem was in part due to staff members “taking leave days excessively.”
As illustrated in the Cedarbrook Nursing Home lawsuit, understaffing can lead to serious injuries or even death. When the facilities are both understaffed and those staff are not adequately trained, residents consequently suffer. Although we encourage those suspecting nursing home neglect or abuse to contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health regarding these concerns, hiring a private Bethlehem nursing home abuse attorney is oftentimes much more effective. This is because the presence of an attorney can facilitate communications with the facilities and ensure that concerns regarding a loved one are heard and promptly addressed.
Bethlehem Nursing Home Neglect News
Nursing home neglect is of particular concern in Pennsylvania, which was recently ranked by Families for Better Care as 46th out of the entire nation. Pennsylvania received an overall score of “F” and it had plummeted 14 spots from the previous report card issued by Families for Better Care. The organization cited an increase in “[d]angerous conditions” and the fact that 95% of the state’s nursing homes had been cited for deficiencies. Finally, Families for Better Care found that residents only received 2 hours and 21 minutes of direct care per day.
Interestingly, Pennsylvania received its highest score, a “B,” for providing 1.83 hours of professional nursing hours per resident. Although that does provide some comfort, 1.83 hours of care per day is not sufficient for residents who need around-the-clock care.
It is important to note that several Pennsylvania nursing homes are currently on a list as “candidates” for a “little-known program designed to improve the nation’s most troubled nursing homes.” Although the official list, capped at 88, is available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Pennsylvania Senators Bob Casey Jr. and Pat Toomey found that there was an undisclosed list of 400 facilities that were considered “candidates” for the program given their history of deficiencies. Although these candidate facilities raised enough red flags to be listed for a special program to address their deficiencies, the senators found that these facilities are not subject to any additional federal oversight.
Moreover, even state inspections are sometimes not sufficient to prevent abuse and/or neglect. For example, state inspections most likely would not have easily prevented a staff member at a Pennsylvania nursing home from distributing a photograph of an 83-year old female resident, naked from the waist down. In that case, an anonymous tip led to an investigation into the Pennsylvania nursing home and led to the termination of that particular employee. This incident raises the question of whether the facility in question allowed the staff to create an environment that allowed this type of behavior to occur.
Suspect Neglect? Speak with our Bethlehem Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
From the above, it is evident that relying on state and federal authorities to enforce residents’ rights is oftentimes not sufficient to protect a loved one’s interests. If you see the signs of understaffing or cost cutting, such as call lights behind ignored, staff members treating the residents poorly, and poor cleaning policies, it is prudent to ensure that your loved ones are not suffering as a result. Signs to watch for in loved ones when they are experiencing neglect or abuse include, but are not limited to:
- Unexplained bruises and injuries
- Bedsores that do not heal and are not adequately cared for
- Unusual behavior that sometimes resembles dementia
- Not being bathed regularly or being left dirty or in dirty conditions
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Being left alone and unattended in hallways or other areas for long periods of time
- Evidence of receiving too little or too much medication
- Unreported trauma and broken bones
If you notice or suspect that your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at one of the facilities listed below, we encourage you to reach out to one of the attorneys at Senior Justice Law Firm. We can also help you report nursing home negligence in Pennsylvania. Our combined experience and focus on the field of nursing home abuse can get you and your loved ones the results you need.
Nursing Homes in Bethlehem, PA
|Facility Name||Facility Type||City|
|Holy Family Manor||Nursing Home||Bethlehem|
|ManorCare Health Services – Bethlehem 2021||Nursing Home||Bethlehem|
|ManorCare Health Services – Bethlehem 2029||Nursing Home||Bethlehem|
|Good Shepherd Home – Bethlehem||Nursing Home||Bethlehem|
|Blough Healthcare Center, LLC||Nursing Home||Bethlehem|
|Country Meadows Nursing Center of Bethlehem||Nursing Home||Bethlehem|
|Kirkland Village||Nursing Home||Bethlehem|
|Moravian Village of Bethlehem||Nursing Home||Bethlehem|
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Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Law Firm