Abuse in South Carolina nursing homes and long-term care facilities exists. If you believe your loved one or elderly relative is a victim of abuse or neglect, contact our experienced South Carolina nursing home abuse attorneys. We are committed to holding those responsible for abusing our elderly citizens accountable.
Nursing home abuse takes many forms, including physical abuse and sexual assault. Elderly residents are often more susceptible to these types of abuse because of their age, disabilities, or dementia. Whether it is intentional abuse or unintentional neglect, your loved one should not be subjected to such horrific conduct.
Numerous cases of nursing home abuse go unreported because the victims are unable to advocate for themselves. It often takes a concerned and observant relative to recognize the signs of abuse. If you think your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, contact Burriss & Ridgeway at (803) 451-4000.
Abuse in long-term care facilities and nursing homes comes in a variety of forms. Some of the most common forms of abuse include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and financial abuse.
Physical abuse occurs when a nursing home resident experiences physical force that results in injuries ranging from bruises to broken bones. Common examples of physical abuse include kicking, slapping, biting, pinching, punching, and choking. This type of abuse could come from a member of the facility staff or another resident.
When a vulnerable person is subjected to threats, harassment, or humiliation, it is a form of emotional abuse. A nursing home resident who suffers emotional abuse often feels scared, confused, or emotionally distressed. Some forms of emotional abuse include isolating a resident, ignoring them, or taking actions to keep them in a state of fear or anxiety.
Sexual abuse occurs when there is any sexual contact without consent between a resident and the facility staff or another resident. For example, a nursing home resident could be touched, fondled, or forced to undress.
Nursing home residents are vulnerable targets for financial exploitation. This type of abuse takes many forms, including identity theft or residents being scammed for their bank account or credit card information. Sometimes, another resident or staff member will pressure a resident to purchase things for them. In other cases, the facility itself bills a resident for unnecessary procedures or treatments that were never done.
In addition to these types of intentional abuse, many South Carolina nursing home residents are victims of neglect. Understaffed facilities or improperly trained personnel can lead to neglect. Residents might be left in bed for too long, not washed properly or at all, or not receive their required medication. While this conduct might not be deliberate, facilities that fail to provide an acceptable standard of care should be held accountable for mistreating those in their care.
Nursing home abuse takes many forms. Unfortunately, many victims of this type of abuse are unable to communicate that they are being abused. In some situations, the victim is driven by intimidation or fear. In others, their cognitive abilities make it difficult to understand that they are being abused. In many situations, it is up to the family and other loved ones to see the symptoms or signs of abuse.
If your loved one exhibits signs of unexplained injuries or is bruised, it could be a sign of abuse. Unfortunately, elderly individuals are prone to bruising and subject to falls. However, if there are scratches, cuts, or broken bones without a reasonable explanation, you should contact our experienced South Carolina nursing home abuse attorneys. This is especially the case if the injuries are around or on your loved one’s genital or private areas.
If you notice an abrupt change in your loved one’s mood or behavior, it could indicate that they are being emotionally abused. Some signs of possible abuse include fear, agitation, withdrawal, depression, anxiety, or anger. Often, a sign of financial exploitation is an unwillingness to discuss finances or unexplained charges on a credit card or withdrawals from a bank account. You know your loved one’s character better than anyone else, so if there is a sudden shift in their conduct, it should not be ignored.
Deteriorating health is not uncommon as someone ages. However, a sudden change in weight or health could be a sign of malnutrition or dehydration. Signs that your loved one is being neglected include a swollen tongue, general weakness, cracked lips, or problems with urination or bowel movements.
Another common sign of neglect in nursing homes is a change in your loved one’s hygiene or the sanitary conditions of their living environment. Soiled clothes, stained bedding, or dirty living conditions are all signs of possible neglect. If your loved one appears unwashed, contact the facility administrators and an experienced lawyer.
Financial exploitation is a common form of nursing home abuse. If your loved one is missing cash or property, it could be an indication that they are victims of financial exploitation. Other signs include forged checks, unnecessary purchases, and unpaid bills. Some predators will attempt to have your loved one execute a power of attorney in their favor or modify their will.
When our loved ones are in a long-term care facility or nursing home, we expect them to be well cared for and treated with respect. When our elderly relatives are victims of abuse, those who are responsible should be held accountable. At Burriss & Ridgeway, our South Carolina nursing home abuse attorneys are committed to fighting for some of our most vulnerable citizens. Call (803) 451-4000 if you suspect your loved one is being abused.
Our Caring Attorneys in Columbia, SC are here to help.