The choice to move a loved one to a nursing home facility can be extremely difficult, but it is often necessary. While there are many excellent nursing homes in the Clemson, South Carolina area, the sad reality is that the quality of care can vary greatly. Poor quality of care at nursing homes can result in the abuse or negligence of its residents.
It’s important to recognize warning signs and to know who to contact for help if you suspect abuse. A nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer serving Clemson, South Carolina, at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers is standing by to discuss your legal options.
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Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Elderly residents can be vulnerable to several types of harm while in the care of a nursing home facility. Nursing home abuse occurs when a staff member intentionally causes harm to the person, whereas neglect is generally due to a lack of oversight or poor standards on the part of a nursing home facility.
A nursing home abuse and neglect attorney in Clemson can determine who’s liable in your specific case. Signs of nursing home abuse and what to watch for:
Physical abuse – The intentional injury of a person. This could include pinching, slapping, hitting, or kicking. It also includes the use of excessive restraints or the withholding or improper administration of medication. Watch for:
- Unexplained injuries including bruises, broken bones, sprains, or scars
- Signs of restraints at the wrists or ankles
- Reports of medication overdoses or other anomalies
Financial abuse – Nursing home residents can be vulnerable to financial fraud and exploitation. Types of financial elder abuse include bank account or credit card theft, theft of personal property, and scams asking for donations or payment for services not rendered. Red flags include:
- Unexpected charges to credit cards
- Unauthorized withdrawals from bank accounts
- Unpaid bills or calls from creditors
- Missing personal property
- Unexpected changes to wills, life insurance policies, or powers of attorney
Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse is defined as unwanted physical or sexual contact. It can also occur without physical contact. For example, an individual may force a resident to undress or watch pornographic material. Sign to watch for include:
- A sudden change in personality
- Diagnosis of a sexually-transmitted infection
- Stained or torn clothing or bedding
- Injuries to the breast or genital area
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Neglect in Nursing Homes
Neglect is more common than abuse in nursing homes. If a facility is understaffed, mismanaged, or otherwise providing substandard care, elderly residents can suffer. Here are the basic types of neglect to watch for:
- Medical neglect happens when the facility does not provide fast and effective medical care to the resident. It includes lack of treatment for medical issues like bedsores, infections, and illnesses. Neglect can happen when medical problems are ignored, not treated quickly enough, or treated poorly and inadequately. Failure to properly manage medications also constitutes medical neglect.
- Failure to provide basic needs. This includes failing to provide enough food and/or water or failing to provide and maintain a safe and clean living environment.
- Social or emotional neglect. Elderly residents can be subject to social and emotional neglect when staff members give them insufficient or inappropriate attention. Examples include ignoring the resident or leaving them alone for long periods of time, using inappropriate or belittling language toward them, or even yelling at the residents in anger or frustration.
- Neglect of personal hygiene. Nursing home staff are expected to assist residents with basic personal care. This includes bathing, brushing teeth, caring for hair and nails, and doing laundry. When staff neglect these basic hygiene needs, the resident can be subject to injury, illness, and poor quality of life.
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How to Spot Neglect
There are several warning signs that can signal your loved one is experiencing nursing home neglect. It’s important to maintain regular contact with your loved one and be vigilant about observing the facility and staff while you are visiting. Here are several red flags:
- Sudden weight loss or signs of malnutrition
- Presence of bedsores/pressure ulcers
- Frequent falls
- Unfriendly or unwelcoming interactions with staff
- Unclean or unsafe conditions in the facility, such as broken equipment, dirty bathrooms, tripping hazards, etc.
- Withdrawn or fearful behavior
- Sudden personality changes
It’s important to trust your gut. If you suspect abuse or neglect, you should file a report with South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control. You are able to make a report anonymously if you prefer. You should also begin documenting everything you can. Keep written and photographic records whenever possible.
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Our Commitment to Fighting Abuse
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we are committed to protecting vulnerable elderly residents in Clemson, South Carolina. A nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer in Clemson, SC, would be honored to review the facts of your case and advise you on the best way to proceed.
We can identify types of compensation to which your family may be entitled to, including:
- The cost of medical or mental health care as a result of abuse
- Recovery of lost funds or property from financial abuse
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
Protect Your Loved Ones with a Clemson-Area Nursing Home Lawyer
You don’t have to fight this battle alone. Having a qualified attorney in your corner can be the best way to hold your loved one’s abuser accountable. Our personal injury lawyers have offices across South Carolina, and a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer serving Clemson, SC, is ready to fight for your rights and well-being. Contact George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today for a free case review.
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