When you place your elderly parent or loved one in a nursing facility, you want to be certain that they will be kept safe and will receive high-quality care. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Nursing home abuse happens, even in some of the most popular or well-known nursing facilities. If you suspect that your loved one is a victim or abuse or neglect, you may need assistance from a Pickens County nursing home abuse lawyer at the Brumback & Langley Law Firm.
While you certainly do not want to think that your elderly loved one is a victim of such a terrible situation, it is important to understand elder abuse so you can keep your parent safe. These circumstances can be complicated, and you may not know where to turn for help. A Pickens County elder care abuse lawyer will help guide you through this difficult time in your life.
- 1 Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina
- 2 Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina
- 2.1 Unexplained bruises, broken bones
- 2.2 Dehydration
- 2.3 Bed sores
- 2.4 Malnutrition
- 2.5 Changes in behavior
- 2.6 Poor hygiene
- 2.7 Medication mistakes
- 2.8 Money missing from wallet, bank accounts
- 2.9 Possessions missing
- 2.10 Venereal disease or infections
- 2.11 Avoidance of time allowed with nursing home resident
- 3 Why Nursing Home Abuse Happens in South Carolina
- 4 Preventing Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina
- 5 What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina
- 6 How a Pickens County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina
Various types of actions may be considered nursing home abuse. Generally, nursing home abuse falls into one of these main categories:
This can happen when a resident is mishandled or treated without proper care. For example, a resident may be dropped when transferring him from the bed to a wheelchair. If the action was performed in a negligent manner, it might be considered abusive.
Occurs in nursing homes more often than you may think. Mental abuse might consist of a worker yelling at a patient or belittling a resident. For instance, a worker might shout at an elderly person for wetting the bed. These types of things occur more frequently with untrained workers and with those who are overworked.
This is a serious concern. Sexual abuse might occur by a care worker or by another resident or visitor. The nursing home has the responsibility to ensure that every resident is safe from harm, including harm from visitors or other patients.
This might happen when money is stolen from a patient either through their bank account or from their wallet or purse. An elderly patient could also experience theft. Their belongings might be stolen by a worker, visitor or resident.
Nursing home neglect
Is the most common form of elder abuse. It consists of a number of actions or inactions. Neglect happens most often at nursing facilities due to lack of trained personnel. Workers might not provide proper care or may ignore the needs of patients. They may also fail to recognize important signs that indicate the need for immediate medical care.
It can be difficult to see when neglect has occurred, especially because it is almost always hidden from others. A Pickens County elder care abuse lawyer knows exactly what to look for when dealing with serious care complaints and will work to find out what is occurring with your elderly parent while under the care of the facility.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina
There are a number of signs that might signal nursing home abuse. If you see any of these signs, you should investigate whether a problem has occurred.
Unexplained bruises, broken bones
Falls are the most common cause of injuries to senior citizens. Falls may cause bruises or abrasions or more serious injuries such as broken bones.
Patients often need to be provided with water and other liquids throughout the day. Nursing home caregivers might forget to give patients water or they might withhold it to reduce the number of bathroom visits that need to be made.
Contrary to popular belief, bedsores are not unavoidable. Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, occur when bedridden patients are not adequately repositioned. Bedsores can be dangerous, especially when they become infected.
Some older nursing home patients may not be able to eat properly or might need assistance. Special meals are sometimes required for patients with dental problems, for instance. The failure to provide adequate nutrition causes malnutrition over time, which can lead to other medical problems. Malnutrition usually happens slowly over a long period of time. If you notice your loved one losing weight, they might be a victim of abuse.
Changes in behavior
Patients may exhibit a change in their normal behavior. Your loved one may be less talkative than usual or might show signs of anxiety or stress. It is important to recognize these changes so you can get to the cause.
An elderly person in a nursing facility may require assistance to take care of their daily personal hygiene needs. When adequate care is not provided, the person might be unable to take care of daily needs such as brushing their teeth, combing their hair and washing their face.
Patients may go without their proper medication due to oversight or because of incompetence. Sometimes patients are purposely over-medicated to make caring for them easier. If your parent seems dazed or uncommunicative, it may be because of medication problems.
Money missing from wallet, bank accounts
Elderly people are more susceptible to financial defraud than others. Money may go missing from their wallets or from their bank accounts. A person may steal money from a bank account when they pay bills for the patient.
Nursing home residents may find their possessions missing. Items that are most commonly stolen include jewelry and watches because they are easy to hide. Residents may not immediately realize that something is missing.
Venereal disease or infections
Unfortunately, some people take advantage of the elderly by forcing unwanted sexual activity. One of the most common telltale signs of sexual abuse is the presence of a genital infection or venereal disease.
Avoidance of time allowed with nursing home resident
When a nursing home prevents you from seeing your loved one or limits the amount of time you can spend together, it might be the sign of a problem. If your elderly relative was hurt or abused, the facility workers might not want to risk you being told about it. If your loved one was hurt, they might keep you from seeing them until the bruise heals.
Certainly not every instance is automatically abusive; however, it very well could be problematic. As a responsible relative, you need to be aware of the possibility of abuse and take steps to protect your loved one from these types of occurrences. A South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyer will help determine whether abuse has occurred and will assist you in resolving the matter.
Why Nursing Home Abuse Happens in South Carolina
Many people do not understand how nursing home abuse can occur. With so many employees and procedures in place at nursing facilities, how could abuse happen? There are many reasons why nursing home abuse or neglect occurs.
Some nursing homes are overcrowded, and many do not have enough qualified employees. This means that your elderly parent may not get the care they should. Understaffing is a concern with many care facilities. It can be difficult to find qualified employees who are willing to work the number of hours and shifts that are necessary.
There is a high turnover of employees at nursing facilities. The staff may not be properly trained to handle the important needs of the patients. Every patient requires a different amount of care. Workers need to understand the needs of each resident in order to provide proper care.
Nursing home employees may be lacking supervision. Without a strong management team in place, the facility may not be running properly. The staff should be aware of the procedures in place to handle various situations including medical emergencies. They need to know how to report problems.
Elderly patients can be easy to neglect because they may be unaware of the abuse. Some older patients might be suffering from dementia or could be bedridden and sick. They may not know they are being abused and if they do know, they might be unable to let anyone know. Additionally, residents are often afraid to come forward to report a problem. They may fear retaliation, and they could be afraid that their report will go unresolved.
Nursing home abuse and neglect does occur and is often not reported. With this in mind, it is important for relatives of nursing home residents to report problems and protect their loved ones from harm. If you are unsure about what to do, you should immediately contact a South Carolina elder care abuse lawyer to discuss your legal options. A Pickens County elder care abuse lawyer will assist you in resolving any serious abuse concerns.
Preventing Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina
Nursing home abuse can and should be prevented. Nursing facilities need to be properly staffed to provide proper care to every resident. Before you choose a facility, check to see whether there have been complaints in the past and if so, how they were resolved. A Pickens County nursing home abuse lawyer can assist you in finding out more about nursing home complaints.
As a relative, you should visit the facility to inspect it before you sign a contract. Although you will be taken on a tour, you might want to check out the home at another time to see how things operate on a typical day.
Once your loved one lives at the facility, you should check on them regularly. Stop in at unexpected times so you can view the daily operations. If you notice any concerns, you should discuss them with the manager. If your loved one has special instructions, make sure that you provide written care details.
Immediately remove your loved one from the facility if you find they have been abused or neglected. Remember that your number one concern is for the health and well-being of your elderly parent. A Pickens County nursing home abuse lawyer will help you determine how to proceed and can assist you in filing a case against the nursing home.
What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you need to take action. First, you need to make sure that your loved one is not suffering from a medical problem. Call your parent’s physician to perform a complete check-up and medical evaluation. Do not accept the evaluation by the facility doctor alone.
Report the situation to the nursing home’s manager immediately and monitor the situation closely. You may choose to file a complaint against the nursing home. This can be done anonymously if you prefer. A Pickens County nursing home abuse lawyer will help you file a complaint and make a claim against the nursing facility.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) handles nursing home complaints. When they receive a complaint, they investigate the matter fully. Once they complete a full review, they will report back to you with the findings. If the facility is found to have done something wrong, they may receive a violation.
Contact a Pickens County elder care abuse lawyer to discuss your concerns. Your nursing home abuse lawyer will evaluate the details of the case and provide you with useful information so you understand your rights and legal options.
How a Pickens County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help
A Pickens County nursing home abuse lawyer will help you resolve the problem and help you file a claim to get any compensation that is owed to you and your loved one. Nursing home abuse can cause or contribute to a large variety of medical problems and even death. For example, if your parent develops a bedsore, it is a sign that they were probably not adequately cared for or treated by the nursing home personnel. If the bedsore goes untreated or unnoticed, it will worsen. It may cause an infection. The infection might be so serious that it spreads throughout the body, a condition known as sepsis. In cases such as these, it is clear that your loved one suffered and his health declined due to nursing home abuse.
A Pickens County personal injury lawyer knows how to gather documentation and proof of the abuse that can be used in court. A legal case may be necessary to get money to cover medical costs and other expenses including money for pain and suffering and other punitive damages.