How to Identify Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

nursing home abuse, elderly abuse

Many family members entrust their loved ones’ care to nursing homes, expecting them to be treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a challenge, with stringent restrictions preventing visitation. Being able to identify nursing home abuse can have its challenges but it’s possible.

While nursing homes adhered to guidelines in order to protect highly-susceptible residents, the lack of family visits also allowed the signs of nursing home abuse to go unnoticed. 

Staffing shortages have also made it difficult for nursing home residents to receive the care they deserve. In fact, many class action and wrongful death lawsuits have been filed, claiming that proper precautions were not taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If you or a loved one have experienced nursing home abuse in South Carolina, contact Hoffman Law Firm today. Our qualified team of South Carolina attorneys will fight for the justice you deserve, providing helpful legal advice along the way. Schedule your free case review today to get started!

Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Warning Signs  

When negligent nursing home employees fail to provide proper care, aging residents suffer as a result. It’s important to be aware of the signs of care home abuse and neglect – and to be vigilant in watching out for them. 

Physical abuse
Physical abuse includes physical injury from falls, kicking, hitting, or punching, or the unnecessary use of physical restraints. Watch for these common signs:

  • Broken bones 
  • Repetitive falls 
  • Bruises, cuts, scrapes 
  • Weight loss
  • Bed sores

Mental Abuse
While its effects are not always visible, mental or emotional abuse causes psychological damage. Common types include yelling, berating, verbal assaults, confusing, mocking, intimidating, ignoring or scaring an aging resident. Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Crying 
  • Anxiety and/or depression 
  • Weight loss or weight gain 
  • Loss of hair 
  • Muteness 
  • Fearfulness
  • Unexplained behavioral or physical changes

Neglect occurs when a nursing home resident’s needs are not met. If a care facility staff member fails to provide for basic needs – such as feeding, bathing, administering medication, seeking medical care for injuries, etc. – it is considered neglect. Check for these signs: 

  • Abandonment
  • Malnutrition or dehydration 
  • Bed sores
  • Gangrene
  • Over-sedation 
  • Uncleanliness and or lack of personal hygiene
  • Lack of supervision
  • New symptoms or unexplainable health issues arising  

Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse includes any forced sexual acts committed with a resident who is physically or mentally unable to grant permission. Common types include unwanted touching, groping or intercourse. Signs are similar to both physical and mental abuse.

Financial Exploitation 
Financial abuse may appear in many forms. A care facility employee may use the nursing home resident’s money to make purchases, or they may steal their money or property. Identity theft may also be a concern. The following signs are reason for concern: 

  • Unexplained purchases
  • Unexplained or odd transfers and withdrawals
  • Abrupt changes to legal documents 

Think You Have A Nursing Home Neglect Case? Call Hoffman Law Firm Today! 

If you suspect nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect in the Charleston, SC area, please report your concerns to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

Then, contact the nursing home abuse lawyers at Hoffman Law Firm. Trust our Charleston law firm to defend the rights of our community’s most vulnerable members – and to fight for the compensation they deserve. 

If you lost a loved one due to nursing home abuse or nursing home negligence, you could have a wrongful death claim. Call your trusted wrongful death attorneys in Charleston.

In addition to abuse and wrongful death cases, our experienced personal injury lawyers handle car accident cases, medical malpractice, workplace injuries and more. Get in touch today to schedule your free case review.

Helpful Resources:

For immediate life threatening emergencies, call 911.

For SC locals: online or call 1-888-CARE4US (1-888-227-3487).

For Nationwide Resources (help victims anywhere in the U.S.):

  • Adult Protective Services: online or call 202-370-6292.
  • The National Center on Elder Abuse: online or call 855-500-3537.
  • Long-term Care Ombudsman: online or call 202-332-2275.
    • Genuine advocates for people living in places like assisted living homes, small group homes, and nursing facilities. They know how to fix issues and make sure residents get what they need. 

Helpful Elderly Abuse Blogs:

Negligent Hiring Can Increase The Risk of Nursing Home Abuse

Exposure to Coronavirus in Nursing Homes in Charleston

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