You turned to the nursing facility that your aging loved one calls home to provide them with the care and attention they need. If your relative is harmed by nursing home abuse instead, it amounts to a startling and grim turnaround.
If your loved one has been harmed by nursing home abuse, it’s time to consult with an experienced Moncks Corner nursing home abuse lawyer.
The Reality of Nursing Home Abuse
While it’s difficult to imagine a caregiver purposefully harming an elderly patient in their care, it happens far too often. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) shares all the following concerning global statistics:
- About 1 in 6 people who are at least 60 years old have experienced some form of abuse in a community setting such as a nursing home in the past year.
- The rate of nursing home abuse rose during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Abuse of the elderly can have serious lasting physical and psychological consequences.
Nursing home abuse happens, and the lasting implications of this form of abuse are dire.
Types of Abuses in Nursing Homes
While nursing home negligence refers to the absence of necessary care, nursing home abuse in South Carolina includes the element of intent. Nursing home abuse is defined as intentionally inflicting any of the following on a nursing home resident:
- Deprivation of care or services
- Unreasonable confinement
- Punishment that ends in physical harm, pain, or anguish
Nursing home abuse breaks down into the following categories:
- Physical abuse, such as physically harming a resident through rough or violent acts or through the unnecessary use of restraints
- Mental abuse, such as using intimidation, threats, or taunts to cause the resident to endure emotional pain
- Financial abuse, including engaging in any kind of financial dealing that is not in keeping with federal and state laws
- Sexual abuse that includes engaging in any type of sexual touching or activity with the resident
It’s important to note that nursing home neglect — although it lacks the element of intentionally causing harm — can be just as damaging for the fact that it often takes longer for tell-tale signs of the neglect to manifest.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse to Be Aware Of
It can be difficult to spot nursing home abuse, but there are certain signs that should give you pause.
The staff shows signs of being overworked
Providing care in a nursing home setting tends to be both physically and emotionally taxing, and if the nursing home itself isn’t well managed, the pressure can show on its staff members. If the nursing home staff appears overworked, the additional stress they experience can leave your loved one more vulnerable to nursing home neglect or abuse. Another sign that the staff is not being treated right, which can translate to abuse or neglect, is a high turnover rate.
Your loved one seems different
If your normally talkative relative has become reserved and standoffish, it may be a sign that they are experiencing a concern that they are afraid or unable to share with you. If your loved one exhibits any kind of change in personality or demeanor that strikes you as odd, don’t overlook it.
Your loved one expresses their concern
If your loved one tells you that they are the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, it’s your responsibility to take them at their word and get to the bottom of the matter. While it’s difficult to accept that professional caregivers would harm an elderly resident, the fact remains that it happens, and the risk is too great to ignore.
The staff exhibits a general lack of responsiveness
In order for the residents of a nursing home to receive the care and attention they need, the staff has to be both attentive and responsive. The fact is that residents have call lights because they do sometimes need help and time is often of the essence. If you notice that the staff generally isn’t overly concerned about how promptly they respond to residents’ needs — or how responsive they are to your questions and concerns — it is not a good sign.
Your loved one is wary of a specific staff member
If your loved one is leery of a specific staff member, or is openly fearful, it’s very likely a sign that there’s a problem. If your relative requests that a specific staff member no longer provides them with care, it’s time to do some investigating.
Contact an Experienced Moncks Corner Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, is a family firm that’s had roots within the community since 1945.
E. Mason West is our very own nursing home abuse lawyer, and he brings considerable compassion and legal skill to the work.
Nursing Home Abuse Case FAQs
How can a nursing home abuse lawyer help?
Your skilled nursing home abuse lawyer will not only collect the evidence necessary to prove your claim of nursing home abuse but will also fiercely advocate for your claim’s best possible resolution in support of your loved one’s fullest recovery.
I don’t think I can afford a nursing home abuse attorney. What can I do?
The stress of your loved one’s abuse at the hands of their paid caregiver is daunting, and the thought of adding legal costs to the mix can be more so. Fortunately, most reputable nursing home neglect lawyers shoulder the financial risk themselves, being paid a prearranged percentage of claim settlements or court awards after the fact.
When should I contact a nursing home abuse lawyer?
As soon as you recognize that nursing home abuse may be an issue, it’s the right time to consult with a trusted nursing home abuse lawyer. The consequences of taking a wait-and-see approach are too great.