When placing a loved one in a nursing home, you expect them to receive high-quality care and to be treated with dignity. Being so vulnerable can, however, expose a nursing home resident to the risk of being abused.
If you believe that a friend or loved one has been abused while in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, then consider pursuing legal action and contact a Lexington nursing home abuse lawyer. A personal injury attorney who handles nursing home abuse cases may be able to investigate the cause of your friend or family member’s injuries and determine whether there is a viable claim for compensation. In South Carolina, a nursing home resident who has suffered institutional abuse can obtain compensation for all medical costs related to the abuse as well for pain and suffering, mental anguish – even relocation expenses.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
There are many different ways that a nursing home resident could be harmed and subsequently benefit from being represented by a Lexington nursing home abuse attorney.
Any unjustified use of force against a nursing home resident constitutes physical abuse. According to the state’s Omnibus Adult Protection Act, “physical abuse” includes slapping, hitting, kicking, pinching, biting, and choking, as well as the inappropriate use of medications to chemically restrain a resident.
Psychological or emotional abuse could be inflicted on a nursing home resident by ignoring them, harassing them, causing them to be humiliated, other otherwise exploiting any of their known mental frailties.
This includes any non-consensual sexual contact between a nursing home resident and staff. In the course of representing a client in a nursing home abuse case, a Lexington nursing home abuse attorney may look for indicators of sexual abuse such as a pelvic injury, the appearance of a sexually transmitted disease, or other tell-tale signs of harm.
A nursing home resident could be an easy target for a staff member who views the resident as a potential source of money. Financial exploitation includes theft, forging a resident’s signature, or tricking a resident into signing a legal document.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
The best way to protect a loved one against nursing home abuse is to visit them frequently and look for signs that they could be being abused or neglected. Warning signs include:
- Cuts or bruises
- Weight loss
- Poor hygiene
- Fear of being changed or bathed
- Untreated bedsores
- Strange behavior
- Unexplained financial transactions
- Unusual staff activity
It is important to understand that, while nursing homes are extensively regulated at both the state and federal levels, government oversight and investigation are often ineffective. Someone who suspects that a family member is being abused or neglected in a nursing home has various options at their disposal. These include dialing 911 in the case of an emergency, reporting the issue to the South Carolina Department of Social Services, or reaching out to a nursing home abuse lawyer in Lexington who might be able to determine whether legal action against the facility is warranted.
Contact a Lexington Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
It is understandably heartbreaking to learn that a loved one who is living in a nursing home is being abused. You owe it to them to have the matter promptly investigated and seek legal help, if necessary. Contact a Lexington nursing home abuse lawyer today for information on what steps could be taken.