When you make the tough decision to place your loved one into a nursing home, you expect them to be well cared for. But the sad truth is, many nursing home workers take advantage of their residents by neglecting them and even abusing them. If your loved one is a victim, you need to take a stand.
The Jeffcoat Firm Injury Lawyers are experienced in representing clients in nursing home abuse cases in South Carolina. Read on to find out how we can help you step up to protect your loved ones.
What Types of Neglect & Abuse Occur at a Nursing Home?
Shocking as it may seem, there are many types of abuse that can occur at a nursing home including the following:
- Assault and battery
- Untreated Illness
- Bed Sores
- Lack of food or water
- Unreasonable physical restraint and seclusion
- Use of unauthorized medication
How Bad is It?
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is more common than we would like to believe. Here are some statistics based on a 2001 House of Representatives report:
- One out of three nursing homes were cited for violations that caused harm or had the potential to cause harm to a resident. One out of ten of those violations caused serious injury and posed an imminent risk to the patient’s life.
- In a study based on 2000 interviews with nursing home residents, 44% said they had been abused and 95% said they had been neglected or that they had witnessed another resident being neglected.
- 50% of staff members admitted to physically abusing, neglecting, or harming a resident in the last 12 months.
- 17% of certified nursing assistants admitted to pushing, shoving, or grabbing a resident. 51% had yelled at a resident and 23% swore at a resident.
A flawed rating system makes the problem even worse.
When relatives are looking for nursing homes for their loved ones, they often choose those that are highly rated. The problem is nursing homes are in effect able to rate themselves.
Consumer complaints, fines, and other enforcement actions generally do not lower ratings. Without knowing it, you may be checking your loved one into a dangerous facility.
What are Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
If you have a relative living in a nursing home, it’s important to know the common signs of abuse. Your loved one may be too ashamed to talk about their problem, or if they are suffering from dementia, that may get in the way of their ability to tell you what is happening.
Here are some things you will want to look out for when you visit:
- Signs of assault and battery such as broken bones, cuts, and bruises.
- Malnutrition, weight loss, or weight gain
- Bed sores
- Unsanitary conditions
- Changes in behavior including becoming emotionally withdrawn
- Heavily medicated states
- Unreported illnesses
Who is Responsible for Nursing Home Abuse?
There are many parties who may be responsible for nursing home abuse including the following.
The Facility Itself: According to the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, the facility is responsible for providing a reasonable level of care to each of its residents based on nursing home industry standards. Any abuse or neglect that occurs is ultimately the nursing’s home’s fault and they will be liable for damages. However, there are other parties who may be at fault as well.
Nurses and Caregivers: It is up to nurses and caregivers to provide residents with the proper medical aid and dietary assistance. If they neglect to fulfil their duties or act in a manner that is abusive, they may be liable for damages.
Maintenance Staff: The maintenance staff must make sure that the facility is free of hazards. They must see to it that hallways and stairways are clear of debris and that residents are safe from danger when walking around the nursing home.
Vendors: Vendors may be to blame if they bring supplies into a nursing home that cause harm to a resident.
Other Residents: It is possible for residents to get into fights with each other. It is up to staff members to control these events and see to it that neither member is injured. If they fail to do so, they may be looking at a lawsuit.
Visitors: Sometimes, visitors may come to the nursing home with the intent to cause the resident’s harm. The staff is responsible for monitoring visitors and making sure the residents are safe. If a visitor harms one of the residents, both the visitor and staff may owe compensation to the victim.
What Should I Do if My Relative Was Abused?
If your loved one was a victim of nursing home abuse, remove them from the facility and get them the proper medical care needed. Next, reach out to a good nursing home attorney. They will be able to help you gather evidence and decide who may be at fault to help you and your loved one be compensated.
Why The Jeffcoat Firm may be the Best Choice for Your South Carolina Nursing Home Abuse Claim
A nursing home abuse case forces you to go up against a large corporation with lawyers whose job it is to pay you as little as possible. The right lawyer knows their tricks and how they work and may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.
The Jeffcoat Firm, with an office in Blythewood, South Carolina has attorneys with years of experience in nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuits. We are not intimidated by big business. We have a no tolerance policy towards any type of abuse, and we hate to see large corporations get away with it.
Nursing home abuse is inexcusable. Our team is here to help. Contact us for a free consultation so you can start fighting for your loved one’s rights.