Making the decision to place your loved one in the care of a nursing home is difficult and can be heart-wrenching. The purpose of nursing homes is to help care for vulnerable elderly individuals when they cannot care for themselves. Sometimes, as a result of their vulnerability, however, the elderly are easy targets for abuse.
Placing an elderly family member in the care of a nursing home takes a great amount of trust. If your trust was broken and you have learned that your loved one has been abused or neglected, contact a South Carolina nursing home abuse attorney in Forest Acres as soon as possible. Our South Carolina personal injury lawyers can seek justice and compensation for your beloved elder if they have been the victim of nursing home abuse.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
There are several types of abuse from which an elderly individual can suffer in a nursing home.
This type of abuse can include humiliation, intimidation, and isolation. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), isolating an elderly individual can double their risk of developing dementia.
Examples of this type of abuse are hitting, choking, biting, physical restraint, and forced feeding. Physical abuse can be any use of force against a vulnerable elderly individual.
When a custodian of a nursing home resident steals money or other property from one of their elderly wards, financial abuse has occurred. This type of abuse can also include tricking a resident into providing their bank account or other financial information or changing their will.
Neglect can include failing to provide a resident with their medications, ignoring their personal hygiene needs, or not meeting their general daily needs.
Nursing Home Abuse Offenders
Nursing home abuse can be carried out by the facility’s staff or its other residents. Disturbingly, the NCEA reports that two in three caregivers report committing elder abuse in nursing home facilities.
Regardless of whether the abuser is a caretaker or another resident, the nursing home is responsible for the safety of its residents. When a facility allows or ignores abuse of its residents, a Forest Acres nursing home abuse lawyer should be contacted as soon as possible to investigate the claims of abuse.
Risk Factors for Nursing Home Abuse
Elderly nursing home patients have many risk factors that increase their chances of being abused. Some of these risk factors include:
- Gender (females are more likely to suffer abuse)
- Cognitive Deficiency
- Physical Disabilities
- Societal Isolation
- Increased Dependency
If your elderly family member has any of these risk factors, pay special attention to potential indicators of abuse.
Indications of Nursing Home Abuse
There are several indications that your loved one may be suffering abuse in their nursing home.
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If any of these signs look familiar, contact a medical professional and nursing home abuse lawyer in Forest Acres immediately.
Rights of Nursing Home Residents
In an attempt to end elderly abuse, South Carolina created a Bill of Rights for nursing home residents to which nursing home facilities must adhere. Your vulnerable family member in a nursing home has the right to:
- Choose a personal attending doctor
- Participate in planning their care and treatment and be fully informed about changes in their care
- Receive regular reports on their personal finances
- Be free from abuse and from physical and chemical restraints for disciplinary purposes
- Be treated with respect and dignity
- Communicate with family without unreasonable delays or restrictions
- Privacy and confidentiality
You are your elderly loved one’s best advocate. It is important that you know their rights. If you think those rights are being violated, reach out to a Forest Acres nursing home abuse attorney to discuss your potential options for filing an abuse claim against the facility.
Compensation Available for Abuse Victims
Nursing home residents who are victims of abuse are entitled to compensation for their losses. Our experienced attorneys at Shelly Leeke Law Firm will fight to recover damages for your loved one, including:
- Medical expenses related to the abuse
- Costs to move to another facility
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death, if necessary
- Punitive damages, if warranted
If it is determined that someone you care for is being abused in their nursing home, Shelly Leeke and our team of lawyers will investigate the abuse claims and take whatever legal action is appropriate and necessary to fight for your loved one’s rights.
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in their Forest Acres nursing home, call Shelly Leeke Law Firm as soon as possible so we can begin taking action to protect your elderly loved one and seek justice for them.
Some of the ways Shelly Leeke Law Firm will fight for your loved one’s rights include:
- Interviewing the elderly resident as soon as possible
- Gathering evidence relating to the potential abuse
- Meeting with medical providers
- Obtaining affidavits from medical experts
- Issuing subpoenas for medical and facility records, employee files, and other pertinent information in the nursing home’s possession
- Filing a lawsuit against the nursing home and any other parties responsible for the elderly abuse
Seeing a vulnerable elderly family member being abused by someone you trusted to take care of them is tragic and angering. Seek justice for your abused loved one today.
Contact our Forest Acres nursing home abuse attorneys at Shelly Leeke Law Firm as soon as possible to investigate your abuse claim. We can provide you with a free consultation regarding your concerns and can even come to your home or the hospital to meet with your elderly loved one.