We’re a Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm That Puts Your Loved Ones First
Our parents care for us throughout our childhood, ensuring we are safe and fed and that no harm comes to us. The least we can do is assure the same for them as they age! Nursing home abuse runs rampant; the National Center on Elder Abuse reports, in a recent year, over 40 percent of nursing home residents have been the victim of some kind of abuse. A shocking 95 percent of residents say that they have either been neglected or observed neglect among their peers. There are currently more than three million people in the United States living in nursing homes. It is estimated that actual incidents of elder care abuse are 24 times more prevalent than what is reported to law enforcement, social services and legal authorities.
If you have parents in a nursing home you believe are the victims of abuse, a nursing home abuse attorney can help! The best thing you can do as an adult child is be a fierce advocate for your parents safety and health. The state of South Carolina has nearly 200 nursing homes. A study by the NCEA reports that over half of staff members at nursing homes have admitted to mistreating residents in some way!
Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes
Abuse that takes place in a nursing home is a grotesque violation of decency, especially when the injured individuals are those who are unable to speak up or care for themselves. Abuse wears many hats, the most common of which is psychological. Abuse can be physical, sexual and verbal; from obvious acts of aggression (like hitting a resident) to more subtle yet pervasive acts like financial abuse, withholding necessary services like medication or bathing, and neglect.
Abuse can include:
- Withholding of medication or failure to properly administer prescribed medication
- Pushing, shoving and rough handling
- Improper contact, sexual touching or coercion
- Force-feeding or withholding food
- Forced restraints
- Financial exploitation and fraud
Neglect may include:
- Not bathing, assisting in bathing activities or bathing infrequently
- Failing to attend to bedpans, adult diapers or assist elderly residents with bathroom functions
- Not helping a resident at mealtimes as needed
- Keeping the living environment unsanitary
Injuries caused by negligence and abuse can be:
- Abrasions and lacerations
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Infections, sexually transmitted diseases
- Fractures and broken bones
- Extreme weight loss
Understand that not all types of abuse and negligence are visible. Besides highly visible signs such as bruising or broken bones, loved ones should keep a close eye on the behavior of their family member. Look out for extreme weight loss and changes in behavior; if your loved one seems withdrawn from activities, less willing to communicate and more aloof, this may be a sign that they are experiencing abuse. Exceptionally unpleasant is the idea of our loved one experiencing sexual abuse. While you may observe any trauma near the resident’s genitals, the appearance of unexplained sexually transmitted diseases should promote alarm.
There are countless ways that caregivers may financially abuse a person in their care. A loved one can look for unpaid monthly bills or the giving of excessive gifts to nursing home staff members or the giving over of control of finances in general.
If you notice any of the above in your parent or loved one, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately! We can help your parent or loved one to get the passionate care he or she deserves within a safe, protected environment and punish the wrongdoers who have caused them harm.
The Adult Protection Law and Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Cases
In the state of South Carolina, the adult protection law is in place to define negligence and abuse and keep residents safe while in a nursing home. Residents are also protected by the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, which grants those receiving care rights to protect their safety. This includes having the right to:
- Dignity and respectful treatment and privacy
- Freedom from exploitation and abuse and discrimination of any kind
- Transparency regarding their living arrangements
- Voice complaints or concern without being subjected to retribution or fear
- Receive visitors and family members and loved ones
- Be a reasonable participant in decisions for their medical future
If you are responsible for a loved one who has had his or her rights violated while in the care of a nursing facility, Bill Green can help seek justice on their behalf! Your loved one is in a highly vulnerable state. Protect loved ones in their later years by being a fierce advocate for their wellness and safety! An experienced nursing home lawyer, like Bill Green, can help to hold nursing homes accountable for their abusive and negligent actions.
Reducing the Risk for Nursing Home Abuse: What to Do?
If your parent or loved one needs the next level of care and can no longer remain in the home, you may be wondering how you can keep them safe in a nursing home? The idea can be daunting and scary! So much is out of your control, but there are things you can do when looking for a facility that will reduce the risk for nursing home neglect and abuse. Here are three tips to keep in mind.
1. Make sure your loved one is in a home offering the proper care levels.
Aging and severe medical needs do not always go hand-in-hand. Simply because one can no longer live alone, it does not mean the loved one requires intense medical care. Not all nursing homes have substantial on-site physicians!
- Make sure that the nursing home you chose for your loved one offers enough medical care that his or her needs can always be met.
- Look for facilities with a high nurse-to-patient ratio.
- Find a facility with a high staff-to-patient ratio.
- Select a facility that offers a variety of activities to meet the social and spiritual needs of residents as well as their physical ones.
2. Get the ratings!
Do your research and check with government agencies and respected outlets for reviews and rankings for local nursing homes.
- U.S. News ranks Best Nursing Homes every year (Link to this page: http://health.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes)
- Review and compare the information at the Government Nursing Home Report website. (Link to this: https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html)
- Lastly, you may want to talk to friends or ask your local church or synagogue for suggestions.
Ratings are a combination of health inspections by state agencies, staffing, and quality measures. These quality measures take into account the number of residents who, for example, self-report pain, experience a fall that causes injury, have bed-sores or urinary tract infections.
3) Perform a thorough on-site visit.
When you are visiting potential nursing homes, your first impression matters!
- Does the residence seem clean? Is it welcoming? Are there unpleasant odors? Natural light?
- The location should allow for regular visits from family and friends without intense restriction!
- Notice how the staff interacts, not only with residents but with each other!
- Join residents for a meal or two to see how the food is prepared and served.
- Tour every part of the facility! Not just the parts they want to show off. Show up unannounced and during a mealtime at a peak activity time.
- Learn about the security measures in place. Are facilities and doors locked in the evening? Are there alarms on the exit doors?
How An Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm Can Help If Your Loved One Has Experienced Neglect
Finding out your parent or family member has been abused can be a devastating feeling. If you believe a loved one has been abused while under the care of a nursing facility, Bill Green and his team of experienced attorneys can help by immediately beginning an investigation on your behalf. We will look into:
- What happened during the instances of abuse
- How frequently the abuse occurred
- Who is are the parties responsible
- Are there witnesses to the abuse and neglect
- If other victims have been experiencing the same abuse
We work diligently and passionately to defend the rights of aging individuals who have experienced neglect and abuse! We will treat your family member as if they are our own and dig deep to establish facts. Our firm has a legal duty to report your loved one’s neglect to the adult protection agency of the state; also, we will make sure that all necessary deadlines are taken into account! It is imperative you contact a nursing home abuse attorney immediately if you believe your loved one is suffering. After the wrong that has been done to your loved one, we believe it the responsibility of the abuser to pay not the one who has been abused. We will review your case 100 percent risk-free and do not get paid unless you do. Contact Bill Green for help today!