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Lehigh Valley Nursing Home Inspections Reveal Startling Deficiencies

nursing home, nursing home abuse

Lehigh Valley nursing homes recently underwent inspections from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  The findings are alarming.  Nursing home inspection reports suggest serious deficiencies at several Lehigh Valley facilities.  Several inspections were conducted after complaints were made against the facility.

Lehigh Valley Nursing Home Inspection Highlights

Several nursing home inspections were prompted by complaints about the facility.  The complaints range in cause and severity.  Some of the most alarming reports include the following:

Manorcare Health Services – West Allen

Manorcare Health Services in Allentown was inspected between February and May 2019.  The inspection report notes:

  • A resident was not given access to a bedpan, and fell out of bed. The resident suffered a head injury that required 11 staples. 
  • Four residents who have dementia were not seated in geriatric reclining chairs. One suffered a head injury after falling. 
  • A resident was unsupervised and was allowed to ignore “stop signs” placed in doorways of other residents. The resident entered rooms and urinated on another residents bed.  The same resident got into a fight with another resident. 
  • A resident was found wearing a soiled gown for an entire day.
  • Two residents’ call bells were out of reach.  

Manorcare Health Services – Allentown

A second Manorcare Health Services facility was also deficient in the following:

  • A resident who suffers from anxiety, depression and mood swings was to receive a higher dose of medication beginning in June. As of inspection in August, the facility had not provided the increased dose. 
  • A refrigerator used to store medications was set too low for proper storage.

Weston Rehabilitation and Nursing Center – Hellertown

Weston Rehabilitation and Nursing Center was inspected in August, and the inspection report notes:

  • Six out of nine patients complaining of pain waited one to five days before staff conducted pain assessment interviews.
  • In July, a kitchen staff member was working without a beard guard.

Gracedale – Northampton County

Gracedale’s nursing home inspection report notes that some deficiencies have been ongoing since 2016.  Most notable is a resident who is at risk for blood clots was not provided or assisted with compression socks for years.  The facility also failed to provide a floor mat for fall prevention. 

Lehigh Valley Facilities That Passed Inspection

The Pennsylvania Department of Health did visit three facilities with active complaints, but found them unfounded.  Those facilities are:

  • Moravian Village of Bethlehem
  • Cedarbrook Senior Care and Rehabilitation in South Whitehall Township
  • The Gardens for Memory Care in Easton.

Though these three facilities have a passing grade, Department of Health officials encourage residents, family members, and staff to report situations that may indicate nursing home abuse or neglect.  State Health Secretary, Dr.  Rachel Levine, encourages:

“If you see something at a nursing home that doesn’t seem right, we encourage you to speak up,”

This is advice that is good for nursing homes in any part of the United States.  If there is a concern of abuse or neglect, it is better to speak up and be wrong, than to ignore the situation and leave a resident to suffer. 

Reporting Potential Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

A lot of people shy away from reporting potential nursing home abuse or neglect because they are afraid they might be wrong.  Generally speaking, none of us want to cause trouble or make false accusations against someone else.

However, not speaking up is far worse than doing so and being wrong.  By not speaking up, you may be allowing negligence to continue, which could result in harm to nursing home residents.  You may also be allowing someone who is dangerous the continued opportunity to be around vulnerable residents. 

Fortunately, you can report your suspicions anonymously.  There are several ways that you can report your concerns, and most all of these channels will respect confidentiality and anonymity.  You can report concerns of abuse or neglect to any of the following:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Adult Protective Services (APS)
  • Long-Term Care Ombudsman
  • Department of Health

It is best to contact one of these agencies before notifying the nursing home.  If an abuser discovers a complaint, he or she may quit, or may retaliate against the victim.  Getting official help first is important to making sure claims are verifiable, and that everyone involved is safe. 

Things to Remember When Filing a Report

When you file a report or complaint, make sure you give as many details as you can.  Write down relevant information, and prepare to answer questions, such as:

  • What is the name of the person you suspect is a victim?
  • Where does this person live?
  • Where did you encounter this person or witness suspicious activity?
  • Do you know the person you believe to be the perpetrator?
  • What did you see or hear?
  • Are there other witnesses? If so, do you know who they are?

Keep any records or notes you have related to your suspicions.  If you took photos or video, you should certainly turn that over to law enforcement and APS. 

If the person you suspect is being abused or neglected is your own loved one, consider removing him or her from immediate danger.  This is especially true if he or she is living in a nursing home and you believe the abuse is occurring there. Instead, have your loved one come stay with you or a trusted friend or family member while you work with authorities. 

Consider Contacting a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

You may find it helpful to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer if you have questions or concerns about abuse or neglect.  A nursing home abuse lawyer can also offer guidance about filing a report. 

A lawyer is an excellent resource to help you make sense of a terrible situation. Furthermore, a lawyer can help ensure that your loved one’s legal rights are protected.  If you need help, contact Nursing Home Abuse Center for a free consultation.  Call us toll free at 1-800-516-4783, or fill out the form on our website

 

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