Moving your loved one into a nursing home can be bittersweet, even when done to provide them care and stability. The transition of placing them into an unfamiliar place may feel overwhelming at first, but peace of mind usually returns when they are cared for properly.
However, not all nursing homes uphold the standard of care advertised and abuse or neglect may occur. If you think you are seeing signs of abuse in your loved one, the law office of Leeke Law Firm can help you pursue justice and take legal action to the fullest extent.
Our team of Charleston personal injury lawyers is here to help you with investigative measures, managing medical records, and if needed, litigating your case in court during a trial. Discover if your case qualifies and how to go about collecting compensation by contacting one of our Charleston nursing home abuse lawyers today.
Signs of Elderly Abuse in Nursing Homes
According to South Carolina law, elder abuse includes exploitation, neglect, and physical or psychological abuse. If you are unsure that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, there are several visible signs and behaviors you may watch out for, such as:
- Changes in personality and social withdrawal
- Regressive, childlike behavior
- Avoiding contact with the body
- Fear of the staff
- Clothes and linens that are soiled or stained with bodily fluid
- Numerous scrapes, bruises, and shattered bones
- Marks indicating restraint on the wrists and ankles
- Variations in visitation and staff monitoring at all times
You must approach filing a complaint with caution. In some instances, it can be rectified through corrective action by the facility. However, if the administration is attempting to cover it up or not taking your concern to heart, seeking legal counsel is the best approach.
Elderly Abuse Found in Nursing Home Settings
Elderly abuse will not always look the same in each case. The nursing home abuse lawyers in Charleston have managed various cases in which abuse was demonstrated through the following categories:
Broken bones, bruises, burns, dislocated joints, hospital stays, and sudden hair loss are all common injuries that may be caused by the staff members or other nursing home residents.
Psychological abuse can take many different forms. Bullying, intimidation, seclusion, mockery, threats, and ranting are just a few. Because they are concerned about being punished for speaking up, many elderly persons who experience this form of abuse do not disclose it.
Understaffing, underpaying, or underqualified staff can result in a facility’s failure to prioritize the needs of its patient residents. The resident may be living in unclean conditions or needing only the most basic care, such as diet or therapy. It may also result from a failure to address medical requirements such as help with movement and medicines.
This includes rape, coerced nudity, taking explicit photos or videos, and unwanted contact. Any type of unwanted interaction with a resident is unacceptable.
Financial abuse includes unexplained transfers of money, frequent pointless withdrawals from accounts, missing property, falsified financial documentation, and healthcare fraud such phantom billing and up-coding billing.
If you think your loved one is in immediate danger, get them out of the facility as quickly as you can, and notify the police about their injuries or condition. For support, reach out to a highly qualified Charleston nursing home abuse lawyer. Working with a legal team that is knowledgeable about elder abuse legislation is crucial to winning your case.
How Often Do Elderly Victims Experience Nursing Home Abuse?
Social isolation, financial hardship, and staffing shortages since the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the rate of nursing home abuse at an exponential rate. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one in five elderly victims experienced abuse during the pandemic, at a steep increase of 86.3 percent since before the pandemic.
It is estimated that five million elderly people experience sexual, physical, mental, emotional, and psychosocial abuse annually. Abuse frequently occurs when a nursing facility is understaffed, leaving an overburdened staff to only give mediocre care.
Common Perpetrators of Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse in nursing homes can be committed by nursing home employees, managers, and other residents. Examples of abuse instances include:
- Staff personnel may mistreat residents if they are angry or frustrated. If they haven’t received the required training or if the facility is understaffed, they could also fail to attend to a resident’s fundamental medical needs.
- Long-term care facility managers make choices that impact the caliber of care residents get and failure to create a safe environment is a form of neglect
- Residents may also be abusing other residents. Nursing home staff employees may also share some of the culpability if they fail to prevent risky residents from hurting others.
Reporting elderly abuse to a facility can be a difficult process to endure. With the assistance of an eldery abuse lawyer in Charleston, the nursing home will be brought to justice. It is important to move quickly, no only for the sake of your loved one’s health but to also meet the deadline for filing a nursing home abuse claim.
Have a Lawyer Investigate Your Loved One’s Nursing Home Abuse Today!
Abuse and neglect victims in nursing homes frequently lack the means to defend themselves. They might not want to take the chance of upsetting the employees at the care home and making matters worse for themselves, or are unable to file a lawsuit because of cognitive issues like Alzheimer’s. Help them to reclaim their voices by contacting Leeke Law Firm for protection.
Get a free case review as soon as possible if you think a loved one is being abused at a nursing home. Our Charleston nursing home abuse legal team can assess your situation confidentially and seek justice immediately.