For many people, there will come a time when they have to make the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home or long-term residential care facility. This can be a horribly difficult decision. While you want to believe that the doctors and other staff will treat their patients and residents as well as they would treat their own family members, unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Nursing home abuse and neglect are genuine concerns and are shockingly common in some cases. If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home or residential care facility, it is important to speak with a South Carolina nursing home neglect attorney right away. At The Derrick Law Firm, we focus on personal injury claims, including nursing home neglect and abuse.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
You need to watch for potential signs of nursing home abuse and/or neglect so you can stop the abuse as soon as it starts happening and pursue a claim against the home. Cases of abuse and neglect may involve:
- Physical Abuse and Neglect: Physical abuse is the act of physical harm to a resident and is the result of an intentional act. Look for signs like bruises, broken bones, scratches, burns, skin tears, malnutrition, dehydration, or unexplained deaths. Neglect is conduct that is deemed unreasonable. Slips and falls in the nursing home can be indicators of neglect since nursing homes are required to take reasonable steps to keep their residents safe from falls. You may also notice bed sores (known formally as decubitus ulcers) appearing on your loved one’s body. These sores may be an indication that proper turning and repositioning protocol are not being followed and may also provide a basis for a claim.
- Emotional Abuse: The signs of emotional abuse are not as easy to spot as those for physical abuse. Look for behavior that is markedly different from your loved one’s normal personality. Suddenly being withdrawn, anxious, or depressed may be warning signs of something being wrong. Watch for staff who ridicule the resident or isolate them regularly, who repeatedly use threatening language, continuously place blame on the patient, who belittle the resident, or who fail to treat the resident with the dignity he or she deserves.
- Sexual Abuse: No one wants to believe that sexual abuse is a concern in a nursing home setting, but sadly, it is. It may even happen more often than you think. Sexual abuse can be committed by the staff, but also by other residents/patients. Even visitors to the facility may commit sexual abuse as well.
- Financial Abuse: Financial abuse is a form of abuse that many people do not always consider. Unfortunately, older people, especially those who are sick, are easy marks in some instances. Part of this is because they are relying on others to do simple tasks for them, like banking. Less-than-honest staff may steal a patient’s financial information. Financial abuse can also take place when providers charge unreasonably high prices or unnecessary expenses.
Retaining a South Carolina Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you have a loved one in a nursing home or long-term residential care facility, your first concern is whether they are well taken care of and in good health. If you suspect something is happening and your family member is in danger of being abused or is being abused, you need to speak with a nursing home abuse attorney right away. Contact The Derrick Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation at 843-484-0707.