Special Agents Raid Two Pennsylvania Nursing Home Facilities
Written by Jeff Meyer on September 19, 2015
Two Pennsylvania nursing homes are now under investigation by the Erie Attorney General’s unit in Pennsylvania as part of a probe into an elderly care home in Erie. Special agents from the Attorney General’s Office conducted a search and seizure of property and records from the St. Mary’s Home located in Erie East. This search comes less than two months after a similar raid occurred at the Golden Living Centers facilities on W 54th street near Millcreek. While officials have not acknowledged any connection publicly, the probe appears to be part of a broader, more intensive effort by the Attorney General and District Attorney focusing on elder abuse and elder care fraud across the state of Pennsylvania.
The latest raid involved special agents serving a sealed search warrant, removing large quantities of files, computers, and hard drives from Saint Mary’s Home on East 26th street. Previous highly publicized action by the Attorney General only two months ago entailed filing suit against Golden Living Centers across the Commonwealth, in which the claims made by the Attorney General include charges of failure to provide a reasonable standard of care to elderly patients, neglect of vulnerable patients, and failure of the facility to provide otherwise essential and necessary services to patients. This suit is ongoing, and at this time, authorities declined to comment on whether the two cases are connected.
Officials from the District Attorney’s office remained silent on the ongoing investigations, however, took the opportunity to bring public awareness to the types of elder abuse being perpetrated in the state and across the country, which can range from individual level abuse situations to ongoing institutional practices that exploit or neglect elderly patients. The types of abuse highlighted as most common by Asst DA of the Erie County elder abuse unit include:
- Physical abuse, which while frequently perpetrated by single staff members, requires a workplace culture allowing such incidents to occur and go unreported
- Neglect, which frequently points towards institutional failures at the facility-level, with the employees and other nursing home staff members being complicit in a broad pattern of failing to provide basic care to patients
- Financial abuse, which additionally requires some failures at the facility-level to oversee employees, or in certain cases, is an institutional practice perpetrated against vulnerable elderly patients
- Sexual abuse, which additionally requires a culture and organizational structure that either permits or ignores signs of ongoing sexual abuse perpetrated by nursing home employees
To report incidents of suspected elder abuse, whether perpetrated by elder care facilities, elder care employees, or even relatives of the victim, contact the Greater Erie Community Action Community, the District Attorney, the Attorney General, or any attorney, who will help ensure that your suspicions are investigated.