CBS News recently reported on an extremely alarming tendency in nursing home abuse. Increasingly, other residents are abusing sufferers at the assisted living facility. This is unacceptable and disheartening. Nursing home facilities have a legal obligation to care for their residents. Regardless of whether the abuse came from another residents, the nursing home can’t exonerate themselves from legal accountability. They must however take actions to prevent this kind of maltreatment. You should call an experienced South Carolina nursing home abuse attorney for prompt legal help should you feel your loved one has been mistreated by other residents at the nursing home.
One in Five Nursing Home Residents Face Maltreatment From Other Residents
The CBS report mentioned a study conducted by the Center for Clinic Care and Aging Research, which is based at Cornell University’s medical school. The study ran a large scale surveillance job on nursing homes through the state of New York. The surveillance continued for one month and was conducted at 10 distinct facilities. In all, almost 2,100 nursing home residents were contained in the study. After the month finished, the report found that 20 percent of the residents that were enclosed had experienced at least one type of serious mistreatment. The kinds of maltreatment that residents faced were wide ranged, especially, it contained:
- Mental maltreatment;
- Violence; and
- Sexual Misconduct
A long under appreciated issue in nursing homes has been resident on resident abuse. The report suggested this was the first complete study of its type. Based off of the results, it is clear that more research has to be done. However, when added to early findings from the National Center on Elder Care Abuse that concluded that 95 percent of nursing home abuse and neglect cases go unreported, it also becomes clear that nursing homes must do more to protect residents.
A Nursing Home Should Be a Safe Environment
Nursing home operators must institute acceptable security processes which will ensure that residents are protected from emotional or physical maltreatment from other residents. Some examples of security processes which should be enacted at all nursing home include:
- Ensuring the staff are properly trained and that sufficient staff is constantly on site;
- Regularly conducting active planning sessions in order to discuss resident needs;
- Suitably tracking residents at all times;
- Any resident on resident mistreatment is immediately identified by observing for warning signals;
- In the event that maltreatment is suspected, taking actions to ensure the problem is promptly and completely investigated; and
- Taking proactive measures to protect the mental and physical health of all residents.
Nursing home abuse can cause great damage to the sufferers. An experienced South Carolina nursing home abuse attorney can help sufferers hold negligent nursing homes liable. It is vital to remember that all nursing home residents have multiple legal rights. None are more important than the right to live in a safe environment, free from any abuse or neglect. According to the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, residents also the following rights:
- Self Determination
- Free Communication; and
- The Ability to voice grievances and participation in their own health care planning.
Know the Warning Signs
You must act fast if you suspect nursing home abuse or negligence. You have to protect the physical and mental health of your loved one that is vulnerable. The following is a list of five warning signs of mistreatment that you just should keep in mind:
- Grievances: If your loved one is whining about problems of negligence or abuse, you should take their complaints seriously. If you suppose they might be misleading you or misinterpreting the scenario.
- Physical changes: You should take that as a warning signal that your loved one mightn’t be being property if you find any important physical changes. Physical changes which should concern you come in numerous distinct kind, they include: bruising, fat loss, dehydration, bedsores and any other kind of harm that is unexplained.
- Mental changes: Anguish through neglect or abuse is frequently very emotionally harmful. If you discover changes in your beloved oneǯs disposition or disposition, it’s an excellent practice to investigate the scenario. Particularly, you should see for: agitation, depression, withdrawnness, avoidance of eye contact, increased stress or any other unanticipated change in character.
- Problems with residents or specific staff members: The studies have found that in many situations nursing home abuse comes from a number of specific fellow residents or one specific staff member. Watch for your loved one socializes with everyone at the facility. An issue that must be analyzed may be indicated by preventing specific individuals.
General feelings that are terrible: Eventually, if something feels “off”, the problem must be investigated by you. Nursing home abuse and negligence is infamously hard to nail. That partly explains why as many as 95 percent of negligence and mistreatment cases go unreported. You must take actions to protect your loved one. Trust your instincts and follow up on the problem, if you have general bad feelings.
Contact Our Office Today
Nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable. They must constantly be shielded from maltreatment. This includes mistreatment from other residents. If your loved one was abused in a nursing home — whether by another resident or the staff — you have to contact a seasoned Columbia nursing home abuse lawyer today. At The Jeffcoat Firm, our nursing home abuse lawyers will fight vigorously to protect the rights and interests of your loved one. Our company serves customers throughout the Midlands of South Carolina.