It is difficult to think about someone abusing a vulnerable senior citizen, especially one who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other similar condition that prevents them from understanding what is happening to them. However, it happens far more often than you might think. It pays to look for signs every time you see your aging loved one, and report anything you do not feel comfortable with as soon as possible.
If your family member was the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, the nursing home abuse lawyers in Columbia, SC from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers may be able to help you hold the facility and its management liable for your loved one’s damages. Call us today at 803-999-2993 for your free consultation with a member of our team.
Damages Available in a Nursing Home Abuse Case in Columbia, SC
When a senior suffers abuse in a Columbia, SC, long-term care facility, the damages they suffer depend greatly on the type of abuse and whether they suffered physical injuries. Your loved one may not be able to recover all of these types of damages, but a winning claim should be able to recover compensation for at least some of them for your family member.
The most common types of damages determining victim compensation we collect for our clients in successful nursing home abuse cases include:
- Medical care and related expenses stemming from neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse
- The cost of counseling, if necessary
- Refunds of lost funds, after financial abuse
- Physical pain and emotional suffering damages
- Mental anguish
- Other emotional losses related to post-traumatic stress disorder
Understanding the Types of Columbia, SC, Nursing Home Abuse
Many people think only of physical assault when they think of nursing home abuse. However, there are a number of ways your aging loved one can become a victim of an abuser. This includes:
By far the most common type of nursing home abuse is neglect. Often, this type of abuse is not intentional, but it still causes harm. Chronic neglect can lead to serious health concerns including bed sores, infections, lack of proper hygiene, and lack of routine care. Some of the reasons neglect occurs include:
- Using less experienced staff to do the job of nurses
- Staff members who simply fail to provide proper care
- Lack of supervision and oversight for nursing home staff
Physical abuse can leave cuts and bruises, as well as more serious injuries. This type of abuse may include:
- Restraining when unnecessary
Emotional abuse leaves no physical indications but still causes suffering. It may include:
Sexual abuse can include anything from unwanted sexual activity to inappropriate comments to unnecessary nudity. Often, sexual abusers are also emotional abusers and threaten their victims.
Financial abuse occurs any time someone takes advantage of a senior for their own financial gain. This may include:
- Stealing cash or valuables
- Using credit card information to place personal orders
- Gaining inappropriate control of the senior’s accounts
- Billing for services the senior does not need or want
- Billing for services the senior never receives
Know What to Look for to Spot Columbia, SC, Nursing Home Abuse
Many seniors bruise easily, and falls are relatively common. Not everything points to nursing home abuse. However, it pays to look for patterns and unusual signs that could indicate a problem in your loved one’s facility. If you raise your concerns and the nursing home staff cannot offer an explanation that puts you at ease, we recommend you file a complaint as soon as possible.
Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, broken bones, burns, and other injuries
- A sudden unexplained change in alertness level
- A sudden unexplained personality change
- Bruises around the breasts or genitals, or other signs of sexual abuse
- Unexplained fear or avoidance of a specific caregiver
- Chronic and unaddressed bedsores
- Hygiene issues, including soiled clothes or sheets
- Missed doses of necessary medications
- Unnecessary use of medications
- Missing cash or valuables, or unauthorized use of bank or credit card accounts
Report Suspected Nursing Home Abuse in Columbia, SC
For Immediate Help
If you believe your loved one or another resident is in immediate danger, do not hesitate to call the local police. Dial 911, and let police and paramedics handle the situation. They can provide the best care and address the situation faster than any other agency.
In addition to treating the ailing senior and possibly transferring them to the hospital, they will also file a police report that documents the evidence they collected. They should also contact South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control about the incident, although we recommend also filing your own complaint.
If You Suspect Abuse But There Is No Emergency Situation
If no one is in immediate danger, you should contact the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to file your complaint. You can do this by sending an email from their website or calling their report line. They have an obligation to fully investigate any complaint they receive that could be a case of nursing home abuse.
Contact Us to Discuss Your Loved One’s Case
After you ensure your loved one is safe, go ahead and give us a call. We will review your situation and offer legal advice and support about how to proceed with possibly recovering compensation on behalf of your loved one. We may be able to hold the nursing home’s parent company financially liable for their abuse-related expenses and losses, including pain and suffering damages.
Talk to a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Columbia, SC, Today
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, our nursing home abuse lawyers in Columbia, SC may be able to help you hold your loved one’s abuser accountable for the suffering they endured. Call us today at 803-999-2993 for your free case evaluation and consultation.