A sudden change in behavior may be a sign that your loved one is processing some type of abuse and is unable to verbalize what’s happening. If you suspect your elder has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers.
There’s never a charge for your initial consultation. And a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer serving Bennettsville, SC, can help you get to the root of the situation.
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Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Has Many Facets
It’s unthinkable that someone would intentionally cause harm or knowingly neglect any vulnerable person in their care, let alone the one you hold so dear. Abuse and negligence are, unfortunately, very common occurrences in South Carolina nursing homes.
- Physical abuse: Any time physical force is used by one person over another it’s abuse. It may take the form of hitting, grabbing, shoving, or unnecessarily restraining with drugs or other physical means.
- Sexual abuse: Any nonconsensual physical touching, regardless of whether there is actual intercourse, is considered sexual elder abuse. Other ways sexual abuse can present itself include taking unwanted nude photographs of the elder or forcing them to watch pornography.
- Emotional abuse: Verbal and nonverbal intimidation can elicit the same amount of fear in an elderly person. Forced isolation and yelling may be at opposite ends of the verbal spectrum, but they deliver an equal measure of anxiety and both constitute emotional or psychological abuse.
- Financial abuse: Taking an elder’s personal items and cash or forging a signature to embezzle bank funds are both forms of financial elder abuse.
- Neglect: Neglect constitutes a failure to provide essential care. It may involve inadequate supervision of a patient, improper medication, or insufficient supplies of water and food.
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Signs and Symptoms of Abuse or Neglect
Of course, there could be any number of reasons why your loved one has become more withdrawn. What’s important for you as part of their family is to understand and identify the telltale signs that frequently point to abuse and neglect. Recognition and awareness of these signs will only help to keep your elder safe and comfortable.
This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms, but it will provide you with examples of what to look for:
- Unexplained change in personality
- Swollen joints
- Restraint marks on wrists or ankles
- Under or overmedicating
- Stained or soiled undergarments
- Sudden and unexplained infections or STDs
- Breast, genital, or thigh bruises
- A change in alertness
- Withdrawal or lack of communication
- Sudden depression
- Regularly misplaced personal items or cash
- Unauthorized bank withdrawals
- Funds deducted for unauthorized services
- Paying for services that aren’t received
- Infected bedsores
- Poor patient hygiene
- Improper training of staff
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Steps to Take If You Suspect Abuse or Neglect
Now that you’re aware of what abuse and neglect look like, you’re on the right path to correcting the situation and improving your loved one’s circumstances. If you believe that your elder is in immediate danger, call 911 right away. Otherwise, follow these steps to improve the conditions for your senior.
- Get all necessary documentation together and organized. This may include medical records, personal statements, recorded observations, and photographs of physical signs of abuse.
- Construct a formal written letter that outlines your concerns and send it through a certified post to the nursing home’s administrator.
- Call South Carolina Adult Protective Services in Marlboro County at 1-843-479-7181.
- Contact local law enforcement.
- Call the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys in Bennettsville, SC, at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers. We can assist you with a free initial consultation with an attorney.
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A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
One of the most stressful events in both your loved one’s life and your own was deciding to place your elder in a nursing home. That has been eclipsed by discovering your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect. Our compassionate and experienced attorneys will assist you with the best legal options for your specific situation.
You are under no obligation to decide on a course of action simply because our initial consultation is free. A personal injury lawyer will review your individual circumstances and offer guidance on the best course to pursue justified compensation for pain and suffering, wrongful death, and any financial expenses incurred.
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers has a track record of recovery. Although we cannot guarantee the outcome of your case, a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer serving Bennettsville, SC, will aggressively seek to hold those responsible financially liable.
There is no amount of money that can bring your loved one back, or reverse the suffering, but recovering some of the expenses your family has paid can help to ease the financial burden. Contact us today by phone or through our online form.
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