When families decide to place their loved one’s care in the hands of a nursing home, they’re trusting that their loved one will receive the professional care they need in a safe environment. But you may find that your loved one isn’t being looked after the way they should. This could be a result of your loved one being abused or neglected. If you believe your loved one has been harmed, a Columbia, SC nursing home abuse lawyer will fight for you.
The Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse is when your loved one is harmed by others in the home. The various forms of abuse include physical, emotional, financial, and sexual. These types of abuse have intent behind it. It could be handling your loved one too roughly, using harsh and disrespectful language when speaking with your loved one, or preventing them from seeing others in the long-term care facility. Stealing money, changing wills or deeds, and sexual abuse can also occur.
When a senior living community isn’t able to provide their residents with the care they need, the neglect often causes harm. The facility may not have enough staff to properly attend to everyone, which can mean residents aren’t getting help or seen regularly. If there’s an emergency, staff may not be aware of what’s happening.
An additional problem with an inadequate number of staff is those who work there are often fatigued and stressed because they’re responsible for more than they can handle. This can often lead to mistakes occurring.
There is never an excuse for your loved one to be hurt. Our nursing home abuse lawyer can help find out if abuse or neglect is happening and then start building a case to hold them accountable.
What Kinds of Injuries Can Occur in Abusive Nursing Homes?
Elder abuse and neglect can severely affect your loved one’s health. When your loved one is a victim of physical abuse, you may notice bruises or scrapes. In other instances, injuries like broken bones can occur. If a staff member shoves your loved one too roughly and they fall, they could sustain head injuries or hip injuries.
Falling can also occur when seniors are left alone for too long. Some residents may need assistance with walking. So, if a resident needs to use the bathroom, wishes to go get something across the room, or wants to move about the home, they may try to do so themselves. Unfortunately, a fall injury can happen and they will not receive help until someone finds them.
When seniors fall, they are in danger of sustaining major injuries. About 300,000 older people need to go to the hospital for hip fractures. It can take a long time for this injury to recover and there’s always a concern of this area getting infected and the senior getting sick. Recovering from an illness on top of an injury can be extremely difficult for seniors—they could need hospital care for weeks.
Seniors can also suffer injuries if they get out of their home. Those who have issues with walking and also with memory may wander from their nursing home and get confused when they’re outside. If the facility isn’t aware of someone leaving, your loved one could be out in the elements for long periods of time. They could suffer from heatstroke, dehydration, hypothermia, and fall injuries.
When your loved one has suffered injuries because of their nursing home, you may feel devastated that your loved one didn’t get the care they deserved and were harmed. That’s where our Columbia, SC nursing home abuse lawyer comes in. We’ll help give your loved one a voice.
How to Identify Signs of Abuse or a Neglectful Nursing Home
You may notice certain signs that your loved one is being abused. If you notice that they have physical injuries, seem more withdrawn or fearful, or are agitated and upset, then this could indicate that abuse of some form is happening.
It’s important to know the signs because your loved one may not be able to tell you what is going on. A person living in a nursing home may have issues with communication. Articulating what’s going on may not be something they can do. There’s also the aspect of fear or shame—they may not be able to tell you because they’re afraid of retaliation or don’t feel like they can talk about it.
If you’re wondering about your loved one’s treatment and care, there are signs you can look for in their home that may indicate it’s not the best environment for them.
When you’re in your loved one’s long term care facility or assisted living facility, take a look at their living conditions. Red flags you should look out for include:
- Dirty Environment. Common areas should be kept clean and sanitized. This also prevents the spread of germs. Dirt and dust could indicate there aren’t enough staff members to take proper care of the place.
- Spills. When spills or other messes are noticed, they should be taken care of immediately so there aren’t any slip and fall risks. Inattention to these messes or taking a long time for these to be cleaned up puts others at risk of injury.
- Soiled Bedsheets and Clothes. Your loved one should be in clean bedsheets and clothes. If you notice that they’re soiled, then they’re likely not getting the care they need.
- Unappetizing Food. Seniors need excellent nutrition to maintain their health. They also deserve delicious meals. If the food quality of the nursing home is lacking, they may not be putting the effort necessary into caring for your loved one.
- Foul Odors. If your loved one hasn’t been bathed and there’s a noticeable odor, then they’re not getting the care they need.
- Lack of Care. Look for dental care and also basic care like brushed hair. If your loved one’s teeth look like they’re not being cleaned or there are large knots in your loved one’s hair, then you may need to take action.
- Bedsores. If your loved one is left alone in the same position for long periods of time, they may develop pressure sores. These injuries can be extremely painful and can require extensive care if they go unnoticed and untreated.
While you may not see overt signs of neglect, you can also speak with other residents and their families about the quality of care. You may want to visit your loved one more often outside of regular visiting hours. This way, you can see what the facility it like day-to-day.
When you notice that your loved one is in an abusive or neglectful situation, your first priority is to get them to safety. If you believe they’re in immediate danger, contact the police. When your loved one is in a safe place, you can start the process to getting them the justice they deserve. This is where a nursing home abuse lawyer from our law firm can help you.
The Benefits of Having a Columbia, SC Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer on Your Side
You may feel intimidated going up against a nursing home—especially if they’re claiming they haven’t done anything wrong or they’re downplaying the harm that your loved one faced. When you’re seeking justice for your loved one, we’re here to stand up for you and your loved one.
We’re well-versed in the rights your loved ones have according to the South Carolina Code of Laws. A few examples of resident rights include the right to:
- Choose a Personal Physician
- Participate in Their Care and Treatment
- Be Informed About Changes in Care and Treatment
- Refuse to Take Part in Experimental Research
Our expert attorneys will review everything that happened to your loved one and find the party that violated their rights. We’ll examine the evidence of injuries, any accidents that occurred, if they didn’t receive the care they deserved, or were hurt in any way because of lack of care.
Medical records can show if your loved one developed an illness, suffered a reaction because they didn’t get their medication, and physical injuries. We’ll also look into the treatment it will take for your loved one to be healthy again.
In addition to the medical costs, your loved one may have experienced pain and suffering and other forms of distress because of what they endured. When we’re fighting for their rights, we’ll calculate the total economic and noneconomic losses of the abuse or neglect. We’ll do everything we can for them to receive full and fair compensation.
Reach Out to The Solomon Law Group
No one should suffer abuse or neglect at their nursing home. When you learn your loved one is a victim of elder abuse, we’re here to step in and help.
You can speak with one of our Columbia, SC nursing home abuse lawyers to find out how you can proceed with a free case evaluation. Our lawyers will be at your side throughout the legal process and fiercely advocate for your loved one’s rights. Get in touch with us today.