When your loved one is in a nursing home, you should be able to expect that they will receive the quality care you were promised. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Many nursing homes have staff members that neglect residents by not caring to meet their basics needs or treat illnesses and injuries. Some providers abuse patients physically and even sexually. Some may take over their finances to try and steal their money.
If you think your loved one is being abused or neglected in a South Carolina nursing home, The Jeffcoat Firm Injury Lawyers will fight to see that justice is served. Read on to find out how we can help you keep your loved one safe.
South Carolina Nursing Home Statistics
In South Carolina, nursing home abuse and neglect is sadly very common. According to a House of Representatives Report:
- One out of three nursing homes has been cited for hazardous conditions that could cause injuries. One out of ten of those cited had the potential to cause severe and fatal injuries.
- In a survey of 2000 nursing home patients, 44% said they had been abused, and 95% said they had been neglected or witnessed another resident being neglected.
- More than 50% of nursing home staff members admitted to physically abusing, harming, or neglecting a resident in the past 12 months.
- A survey of certified nursing assistants revealed that 17% had become physically aggressive with a resident. 51% said they had yelled at a resident. 23% said they had cursed at a resident.
Signs of Neglect
When a loved one is a victim of abuse, it can be difficult for them to open up about it. They may feel ashamed or scared. In some cases, they may have dementia and are unable to express themselves.
When visiting a relative, it’s essential to look out for common signs of abuse so you can take action if necessary. Here are some symptoms to be aware of:
- Falls with injuries
- Pressure wounds
- Decubitus ulcers
- Untreated illness
A pressure wound, also known as a bedsore or decubitus ulcer, may be the most common type of nursing home neglect injury.
When a patient is in a weakened state, they may be unable to change positions when lying on a bed. They may count on a staff member to help them reposition.
If a staff member neglects to reposition residents, they may end up with bedsores. These are most likely to develop on the patient’s tailbone, ankle, heels, or hips.
Bedsores may not seem like a big deal, but they can become quite serious if left untreated.
At their earliest stages, sores may just be red and discolored. If allowed to develop, the skin may break, causing painful blisters. Eventually, the sore can deepen, so the skin opens up, revealing the tissue underneath. In the final stage, tissue, tendons, and bone will become visible as well.
Falls are another common nursing home injury. Facilities are responsible for doing everything they can to prevent falls, including installing guardrails, lowering beds close to the floor, and using mats to cushion falls that are likely to occur.
If the facility does not take steps to keep residents safe from falls, they may be responsible for injuries.
Who is Responsible for Nursing Home Injuries?
If a loved one becomes injured due to neglect or abuse, several parties may be held responsible. These include the following:
It is up to physicians, CNAs, nurses, and caregivers to care for residents seeing to needs that include medical treatments, hygiene, dietary assistance, and more. If they are neglectful of their duties, they may be responsible.
The maintenance staff is required to keep the premises free of hazards to reduce the risk of injury. This means cleaning debris from walkways, making sure handrails and guardrails are correctly installed, and removing tripping hazards. If they fail to keep the facility in good shape, they may be at fault.
Your loved one will interact with other residents of the facility daily. Unfortunately, not all interactions are pleasant. It is up to the nursing staff to make sure residents do not harm one another. If a resident becomes injured in an altercation, the staff may be to blame.
In rare cases, a visitor may harm a resident, causing injury. If this occurs, the visitor may be the at-fault party. The nursing staff may also be responsible for not taking measures to prevent the injury.
A vendor is responsible for providing the nursing home with supplies that the facility must trust to be safe and in good working order. If the supplies end up causing an injury, the vendor or manufacturer may be at fault.
The Nursing Facility
The nursing facility is responsible for keeping residents safe. In some instances, the facility may be held liable along with a staff member, vendor, or visitor.
Why the Jeffcoat May Be the Best Choice for Your Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
Nursing home cases can be complex. It can be challenging to determine at-fault parties, and many nursing homes have teams of lawyers that are there to deny that they were at fault.
With an office in Orangeburg, South Carolina, the Jeffcoat Firm has personal injury attorneys with years of experience dealing with nursing home abuse lawsuits. Fighting on behalf of the elderly for two decades, the experienced nursing home abuse lawyers at The Jeffcoat Firm are on your side.
Don’t let them mistreat you or your loved ones. Schedule a free consultation with The Jeffcoat Firm to take the first step in keeping your loved one protected.