What Can I Do If I Suspect a Nursing Home is Abusing My Family Member?

A Columbia Injury Lawyer Explains Your Rights

Image of Elderly ManAccording to Families for Better Care, a Gallup poll revealed that almost 80 percent of adults 55 and older believe that nursing home operators are dishonest. Nursing home abuse and neglect is much more of a problem than many people know or understand. Whether the result of neglect, physical, psychological or sexual abuse or financial exploitation, the mistreatment of the residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities is not only an issue for which Nursing Home Report Cards found 90 percent of all nursing homes were cited, but that many times leads to serious consequences, such as wrongful death.

What is Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse occurs when the operators and/or staff of a nursing home or assisted living facility mistreats one or more of its residents in some way. There are several types of nursing home abuse, including:

  • Neglect – This type of abuse involves failing to care for the patients, such as not moving immobile patients to prevent bedsores, not providing patients with the proper medication and failing to help patients when necessary, which can lead to accidents such as falls;
  • Physical Abuse – This type of abuse involves patients being physically harmed, including being hit, restrained and pushed;
  • Psychological Abuse – This type of abuse involves ridicule, psychological intimidation and humiliation as well as verbal abuse;
  • Financial Exploitation – This type of abuse involves stealing from and/or defrauding patients through Medicaid scams, theft of personal property in addition to overcharging for caregiving and medical procedures;
  • Sexual Abuse – This type of abuse involves forcing a patient to view or perform a sexual act, improperly touching a patient or forcing them to undress.

How Do I Recognize the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?

Each type of nursing home abuse has signs that it is taking place. Some general indicators of abuse and neglect include:

  • Personal property disappearing;
  • Depression;
  • Bedsores;
  • Unexplained bank account withdrawals;
  • Restraint marks;
  • Bruising, bleeding and broken bones;
  • Fear of certain staff members;
  • Damaged property, especially clothing, because it could be a sign of sexual abuse.

How Do I Protect My Family Member from Nursing Home Abuse?

Thoroughly researching nursing homes and assisted living facilities before placing your family member in one as well as always staying updated on your loved one’s situation and the facility’s record are excellent ways to keep someone you love from becoming the victim of nursing home abuse. A key factor to keep an eye on during your research, according to Families for Better Care’s Nursing Home Report Cards, is how many professional nurses and frontline caregivers a facility has on staff, because the more of those types of employees a facility has on staff, the better its patients tend to be treated.

Locate an Injury Attorney in South Carolina

If your family member has already been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, our South Carolina injury lawyers may be able to help. We have experience successfully defending the rights of nursing home negligence and abuse victims and are ready, willing and able to use our knowledge, skills and resources to help you and your family in your time of need.

There is no charge to meet with our Columbia injury attorneys. Call us at (803) 834-7097 or toll free at (877) 276-0533 today for more information about nursing home abuse and negligence, and explore your legal options with an experienced South Carolina injury attorney at Proffitt & Cox, LLP.