Every year, thousands of families across South Carolina entrust the safety and care of their loved ones to nursing homes and other types of long-term care facilities. Most of these facilities provide dependable and compassionate care for their residents. Unfortunately, understaffing, inadequate training, and outright abuse can cause harm to vulnerable nursing home residents.
If you believe your family member has been subjected to mistreatment or neglect by the staff in a long-term care facility, you should consider talking to our Marion nursing home abuse lawyers about your legal options. Our team of dedicated personal injury attorneys at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda could work with you to begin pursuing financial restitution.
Forms of Neglect and Abuse in Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are supposed to attend to the needs of individuals who are physically and/or cognitively impaired. Many of the residents in nursing homes need around-the-clock care. Because they rely so heavily on the staff members at these facilities, nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to neglect and abuse.
Mistreatment in nursing homes rarely stems from intentional malice, but rather from inadvertent neglect. Many long-term care facilities are for-profit businesses that are run without an appropriate number of staff members. In these situations, even the hardest-working employees will eventually become unable to properly care for all their residents.
Types of Abuse
In rare cases, negligent nursing home staff intentionally abuse residents physically, emotionally, sexually, or financially. Physical abuse may take the form of hitting, pinching, or forcefully restraining residents. Emotional abuse can involve mocking or talking down to a resident.
Any unwanted sexual acts or comments toward a nursing home resident can be considered sexual abuse. Financial abuse might involve tricking a resident into transferring money or signing over property to a nursing home employee. Financial abuse can also involve billing schemes to defraud patients, Medicare or Medicaid.
No matter what form of neglect or abuse your family member experienced, you could help them fight for compensation. Reach out to a skilled lawyer in Marion today to learn more about acts that may warrant a nursing home abuse case.
Identifying Mistreatment in Long-Term Care Facilities
Identifying neglect and abuse can be difficult, especially if you are not with your loved one in the nursing home every day. The staff may attempt to cover up any issues, and your relative may be unwilling or unable to communicate what is happening to them. As such, it is crucial that you are aware of some common signs of mistreatment:
- Unexplained or unusually frequent injuries, especially from falls
- Bed sores and frozen joints
- Bleeding or infections
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Sudden changes in behavior or mood, particularly when they occur around a specific staff member
- Unexplained withdrawals from a resident’s bank account(s)
- Denial of visitation or other privileges
If you have noticed any of these issues, it may be time to speak with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney.
How to Report Suspected Nursing Home Abuse in Marion
If you have concerns about nursing home abuse or neglect, you can file a report with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. This organization is required by law to investigate any verbal or written complaint indicating a breach of the licensing standards applicable to long-term care facilities. If your relative is under imminent threat of serious harm, contacting local law enforcement may be a prudent short-term approach.
Once your loved one is removed from the dangerous situation, a dedicated lawyer could work with you to seek compensation on their behalf. Our legal team at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda could help you and your relative seek compensation for medical expenses, physical and emotional suffering, lost enjoyment of life, and potentially punitive damages for especially egregious misconduct. In the event that the nursing home abuse or neglect leads to the untimely loss of your loved one, our compassionate attorneys could help you pursue a wrongful death claim.
Seek Help from a Marion Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
There is no excuse for neglect or abuse in long-term care facilities. If you suspect your relative is being mistreated, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Taking on a case against the owners and staff of a long term care facility can be difficult, but our Marion nursing home abuse lawyers are here to help. Contact us today to start discussing your case.