Pennsylvania families who place a loved one in a nursing home assume their loved one will receive quality care and support. Unfortunately, that does not always happen, and innocent patients suffer injuries because of abuse and neglect. There are certain injury patterns that can help families distinguish between abuse-related injuries and normal accident-related injuries.

Elderly individuals are more susceptible to injuries because of slips, trips and falls. There are certain signs that may indicate that a patient is not suffering because of an accident or fall. For example, injuries to only the head, neck and face are more common with abuse victims than with accident victims, especially when there are no visible injuries to the lower body. If a person has injuries to only the left side of the face, it may indicate abuse as attackers are most often right-handed.

One important fact to consider about elder abuse is that there is often no clear sign of a problem. Over 20% of elder abuse cases that were prosecuted successfully actually had no visible injury reports. While injury patterns play a significant role in determining if there is an issue, it is not the only sign. Emotional and mental trauma are frequently signs of abuse.

The abuse or neglect of elderly individuals is reprehensible. If a Pennsylvania family suspects their loved one suffered injury at the hands of those who should be providing care, it could be grounds for a civil claim. Victims do not have to suffer in silence or assume there is nothing they can do to protect the rights of their loved ones.