PA Alert: Plans Underway to Combat Elder Abuse in Wake of Theft Case

AG will help combat elder abuse

Pennsylvania's top law enforcement agency this week outlined a four-point plan to better combat elder abuse in the Keystone State.

The news came in the wake of an announcement that a Washington County funeral director had been charged with 46 felony counts of theft by failure to make required deposition of funds. She was also charged with forgery and insurance fraud.

Her victims?

According to Attorney General Josh Shapiro, many are nursing home patients, and other Pennsylvania seniors who are "frail, (and) living on fixed incomes."

After acknowledging that elder abuse is a serious problem, the attorney general said his office is:

  • Partnering with area agencies on aging to "root out" financial abuse of the elderly
  • Enlisting the help of banks to help detect the financial exploitation of seniors
  • Establishing regional financial fraud and identity theft task forces
  • Expanding protection from abuse (PFA) orders to cover non-family caregivers

The nursing home abuse injury attorneys at Edgar Snyder & Associates applaud the effort to help better protect our senior citizens—especially at a time when nursing home care in the Keystone State has come under fire.

In fact, the quality of care provided at nursing homes in the state earned a failing grade by one of the country's leading advocacy organizations. A recent report published by investigative reporters at PennLive indicated that almost 20 percent of nursing homes in Pennsylvania were caused by either negligence or avoidable mistakes.

That's why we wanted to encourage everyone to do their part by keeping a watchful eye on the senior citizens in their life. It's important to know that financial abuse is not the only way the elderly are taken advantage of in Pennsylvania.

Types of nursing home abuse include:

  • Financial abuse – stealing cash or credit cards, forging a patient's signature
  • Physical abusebed sores, dehydration, malnutrition, using restraints
  • Mental and emotional abuse – yelling, threatening, isolating and belittling
  • Neglect – failing to provide a resident with a bath or water, allowing a resident to wander unsupervised

Please, if you notice any red flags—unexplained bruises or funds that are unaccounted for—don't hesitate to call your area agency on aging, your local police department, and a skilled nursing home abuse attorney.

If you suspect someone you love is being abused, you probably have many questions. Please know we're available 24/7 to help you. Call for a free case review today.

Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office