Nursing Home Negligence & Abuse
At some point, nearly every family will face the same inevitable question: How should we sufficiently care for our elderly or disable loved ones? Some families, specifically 1.4 million in the United States, find that choosing a nursing home or assisted living facility is the best and most appropriate option. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are popular choices for fixed income families, with Medicaid or Medicare, making them a feasible option. When such care is chosen, families rightfully trust that their loved one will be properly cared for, and nursing homes and assisted living facilities have the legal obligation to do just that. Most nursing homes and assisted living facilities supply continuous and proper care by qualified nurses and doctors. In fact, nursing homes and assisted living facilities within South Carolina are highly regulated by the Federal government. Unfortunately, despite this regulation, it has been a recent and growing trend in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida for nursing homes and assisted living facilities to violate their legal obligation by being both negligent and abusive in their care. A nationwide study conducted in 2003 revealed that over 20,000 complaints of abuse and neglect were filed against nursing homes and assisted living facilities. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, elder abuse is a growing problem that can occur in many different forms, including, but not limited to:
- Sexual Abuse
- Emotional or Psychological Abuse
- Financial or Material Exploitation
Common signs of these types of abuse or neglect include:
- Bed Sores
- Loss of Weight
- Bruises or Bruising
- Soiled Bed or Clothing
- Matted Hair
- Lack of Personnel
- No Medical Staff
- Complaints by Loved One
If any of the above mentioned signs are recognized and abuse is suspected, they should be reported to authorities immediately to guarantee that proper action is taken.
Several alarming statistics provide reasoning for why nursing homes and assisted living facilities should be held accountable for their actions. First, according to the American Association for Justice, 90% of nursing homes within the United States lack the number of staff adequate to provide proper care for its residents. This statistic is simply unacceptable and refutes our purpose for choosing nursing homes or assisted living facilities in the first place—to ensure that our loved ones are given the proper care that they deserve. Second, according to the Center on Elder Abuse, a 2000 study revealed that 95% of nursing home or assisted living facility residents had either been neglected or witnessed another resident being neglected. Also, as part of the same study, 50% of nursing home staff openly admitted to subjecting residents to physical violence, mental abuse, or neglect. Finally, despite the indication of the above statistics, only 1 out of every 14 incidents of abuse or neglect is reported to the authorities. This statistic shows that nursing homes and assisted living facilities, in the face of the alarming statistics mentioned above and the growing problem of abuse and neglect, are not being held accountable for their actions.
Every form of neglect or abuse has lasting and detrimental effects. The effects are felt, not only by the loved one being subjected to the abuse, but by the family as a whole. Our South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyers have passed the bar in several states, including South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. They will aggressively represent family members of the abused and the abused and neglected themselves in an action for any nursing home abuse. We will strive to stop the abuse at any facility and make sure the family is properly compensated. Call our office toll free at 1-800-94-TRIAL or contact us online for a free consultation.