If you have reason to believe your loved one was severely mistreated in a nursing home, you should speak to a nursing home abuse lawyer, SC residents trust. While you don’t expect your family member to suffer abuse in one of these facilities, it happens more than you’d like to think. A skilled lawyer can help you bring a timely claim against the nursing home and demand justice for your loved one.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
When you believe an elderly person is being abused in a nursing home, there are several steps you should take. These include:
Reporting the abuse is very important. This involves identifying the method of reporting and then filing a report. There are various hotlines and organizations that can be contacted. In general, the following methods are available to report the abuse of an elder:
Detailing the Report
When you report the abuse, you should make sure your report is as detailed as possible. For example, you should say more than “I suspect abuse.” Instead, you might say, “I noticed my elderly father had bruise marks on his wrists and arms. He is very withdrawn and refuses to talk to anyone. The caregiver won’t ever leave me alone with him.” The more details, the better. If you have photos or recordings, these should be noted in the report.
Concerns after Reporting the Nursing Home Abuse
Reporting abuse is a very delicate matter. You know you need to help, but you might feel concerned about what will happen after. Perhaps you fear that your loved one will have to move to a new facility; maybe that one will be worth it. What if the staff retaliate? These are common and understandable concerns that can be addressed during a consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer.
If you do move the elder, we would recommend taking him or her on a few tours of local facilities. Take time to talk with the doctors, patients, staff and view the rooms. Let your elderly loved one know you want what is best and are ready to listen to their thoughts and ideas. However, their safety remains the number one priority.
Legally, nursing home staff cannot retaliate. This does not mean they won’t. If you have genuine concerns about retaliation or notice things that are already taking place, a lawyer might advise you to find a new facility as soon as possible. Furthermore, he or she might consider filing an additional complaint or taking legal action concerning retaliation.
Consulting a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Finding out that your loved one may be the victim of a nursing home is shocking. Your next step is to schedule a consultation with a qualified nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your legal options. A lawyer can help you file a timely lawsuit against the nursing home, gather evidence, identify key witnesses, and negotiate with the insurance company. If you have a skilled lawyer on your side, you have a better chance of obtaining fair compensation.
Unfortunately, a nursing home abuse lawyer SC families trust from Poliakoff & Associates, P.A. is well aware of just how common nursing home mistreatment is. Adult care facilities often face chronic understaffing, where care providers are burnt-out, overworked, and spread thin. Statistically, around one in every four nursing homes in the United States has some deficiency that harms the residents or makes them vulnerable to severe injury or death.
As a family member of someone in a nursing home, this statistic may scare you. We aren’t here to cause unnecessary panic; however, it is essential to be informed about this prevalence so victims can get justice if they are abused in a nursing home. Family members can play a crucial role in keeping the senior relative safe. But since you cannot be there at all times, there will still be moments where your relative could be at risk for mistreatment.
How Facilities Fail to Keep Residents Safe
The eldercare facilities that we entrust to care for our loved ones may break this trust by harming the patient somehow. Abuse can take many forms and may be physical, emotional, financial, and/or sexual. As the family member or compassionate friend of a nursing home resident, you must be aware of the ways elder abuse can take form and what the warning signs look like. In this way, you can quickly take action if you see that something isn’t right. As your South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyer may go over with you, these are just a few common signs that may mean abuse is happening:
What to Look for When Visiting
When visiting your loved one in the nursing home, there are things to watch out for to ensure their safety. For instance, do you notice that the living quarters are dirty and unkempt? Has your relative’s condition consistently decreased since entering the facility? Has your loved one retreated from family and friends? Have they refused to be helped by certain staff members? A lack of supervision and adequately trained staff can result in incidents of abuse. Sadly, many well-intentioned nurses or care providers go into the field with a genuine want to help but then get burnt-out and may act in ways that they wouldn’t have if the working environment were better.
Call Poliakoff & Associates, P.A. Today
Our team is ready to talk with you about your case. If you aren’t sure whether abuse has happened, we can investigate further. The best thing you can do right now is to call us to intervene to protect your senior loved one. Call Poliakoff & Associates, P.A. today to speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer in South Carolina as soon as possible.
Schedule a free consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in SC from the Poliakoff & Associates, P. A. today.
Steps to Take if Nursing Home Abuse is Suspected
Our nursing home abuse lawyer, SC residents depend on knows that realizing that your loved one is being mistreated can be challenging to come to terms with. While you most certainly will be flooded with emotions and worry, chances are you will be unsure over how best to manage the situation. However, know that for the safety and well-being of your aging loved one, you must take action as quickly as possible. Our team at Poliakoff & Associates, P.A., are available to not only walk you through each step of the process but assist with holding those responsible accountable for their actions.
Step One: Be Able to Identify the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
In some situations, nursing home abuse may appear pretty obvious. However, in others, you may be unsure. The first step towards determining whether the abuse happened or not starts with identifying the signs of abuse. If you notice any of the following, it may be necessary to protect your loved one.
Keep in mind that it’s not your responsibility to prove abuse. To have a successful personal injury case, you will have to prove negligence. Our team will work closely with you and your loved one to strategize a strong case that will keep your loved one’s best interests at the forefront.
Step Two: Check on Your Loved One Frequently
Our South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyer shares that if you have a friend or family member in a nursing home and have concerns, it’s essential not to leave them in isolation. Visit them frequently, not only to check on their well-being and ensure they are safe but also to observe any signs of mistreatment.
Step Three: Report the Abuse
The way abuse is reported will largely depend upon the severity of the concerns. It may be best to start by speaking with the nursing home administration regarding more mild situations. However, if you believe your loved one is in imminent danger, you should immediately contact the police. Additionally, keep in mind that you can report all elder abuse to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control.
Step Four: Consider a New Care Facility
In some cases, abuse may be so severe that the victim suffers from long-term injuries, some that could even be life-threatening. While it can be challenging to come to terms with, it’s imperative to take immediate action to find a new home. You will need to carefully weigh your loved one’s needs with the options available, such as choosing another nursing home facility or in-home care. Above all else, when making this decision, it’s essential to take the time to research available options to mitigate the risk of future harm.
Contact a Lawyer
If you have an aging loved one who has experienced abuse in a nursing home and has suffered damages; as a result, legal action may be the next appropriate step. Whether you suspect abuse or your loved one has recently sustained injuries in a nursing home, start the process by contacting Poliakoff & Associates, P.A. We can offer an experienced and compassionate nursing home abuse lawyer in SC who is prepared to represent your loved one in the way that they deserve.
Is Your Loved One Malnourished?
A nursing home abuse lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina can also help if you suspect your loved one is suffering from malnutrition. Malnutrition can cause serious health problems in the elderly, and the sad reality is that in many nursing homes, residents don’t have access to the nutrition and healthy diet they really need.
It’s a known fact that as we age, we lose some degree of our appetite. It’s natural, and largely unavoidable: Some foods we couldn’t live without when we were younger just don’t seem so appealing anymore, and sometimes we just get tired of certain foods. Our taste buds change over time, and when it comes to our older relatives, the difference is even more prominent.
A lack of appetite is normal with age. Some medications may cause certain types of food to taste bad, and in other cases elderly people who have experienced strokes have physical difficulty eating and keeping down food. This can all lead to malnutrition – but age isn’t the only cause.
Nursing Home Malnutrition
Malnutrition is a major health concern for older people, but unfortunately it can be out of their control in certain cases. If your loved one is living in a nursing home, it’s up to the staff to make sure they are adequately fed and looked after – and malnutrition is a dead giveaway that your elderly relative isn’t receiving the proper care they deserve.
Not all nursing homes are dangerous. Unfortunately, some are full of hazards, inattentive staff, and inadequate nutrition. Your loved one has dietary needs, and without proper nursing home care, they may experience malnutrition and other serious health issues. When you visit your relative, be sure to know the signs – you might need a nursing home abuse lawyer in Greenville, SC if you notice any of the following:
Signs of Malnutrition
One of the most obvious signs that all is not well at your loved one’s nursing home is a drastic change in mood. If your once cheerful parent or grandparent is now depressed, angry, or just off, you should look for signs of malnutrition and other abuse. If your loved one isn’t getting his or her meals, or his or her meals are inadequate, there might be inattentive staff at work.
You can also look at your loved one’s clothing. If you notice that their clothes are suddenly much looser than you remember, take warning: This is a sign of rapid weight loss, and a poor diet. You might not be able to speak one-on-one with your relative, but you can notice nonverbal signs that something isn’t right. If your loved one has a fridge in his or her room, check for expired food as well: It’s a sure sign that they haven’t been eating right.
Reach Out to Poliakoff & Associates, P.A.
At Poliakoff & Associates, P.A., we know that your loved one deserves the best care and attention possible – and that means a proper diet and caring staff. Nobody should suffer from malnutrition in a nursing home, and nobody should have to watch their loved one waste away from a lack of adequate care.
Get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Greenville, SC today, and see how Poliakoff & Associates, P.A. can help.