Columbia Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers Serving All of South Carolina
State elder care programs investigate more than 20,000 complaints of abuse in retirement homes each year. Even so, many experts say South Carolina nursing home patient neglect or abuse is underreported.
South Carolina nursing home negligence cases are important to us – senior citizen neglect or abuse is simply inexcusable, and we will work hard to obtain justice on behalf of you or your loved one. If you or someone you care about has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact a South Carolina nursing home injury attorney at Louthian Law Firm today.
South Carolina Nursing Home Problems Underreported When Victims Remain Silent
Nursing home or retirement home neglect or abuse is often unreported because victims are either physically or verbally intimidated into staying silent or they are incapable of telling someone about the abuse. Columbia nursing home injury lawyers hear frequently from the relatives of patients suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or conditions affecting their ability to communicate. Negligent caregivers assume they can take advantage of the elderly, especially residents without regular visitors who might notice warning signs of nursing home neglect or abuse.
Abuse in nursing homes can take several forms, ranging from persistent bedsores that turn septic and cause significant pain and injury to financial exploitation. If you have a loved one in a South Carolina nursing home, some of the key signs to watch out for include the following:
- Open wounds, cuts, bruises or welts;
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss;
- Torn clothing;
- Broken or missing personal items;
- Resident complaints about being slapped or mistreated;
- Emotional states of extreme agitation – or unusual withdrawal;
- Unusual and new behavior, such as sucking, biting or rocking;
- Use of physical restraints – or bruises around legs or arms that suggest the use of restraints;
- Poor hygiene;
- Unusually pale skin coloring;
- Sudden change in medication or dosage, particularly any medication used for sedation;
- Temperature extremes at the nursing home;
- Nursing home staff that can’t properly explain a resident’s physical condition;
- Nursing home staff that discourages family members from visiting with the resident alone;
- Residents that wander from the facility because of poor supervision.
Understanding Nursing Home Abuse
South Carolina Nursing Home Care: A Bill Of Rights
Many nursing home residents and their family members are unaware of their rights under South Carolina law. Residents of nursing homes have the right to expect quality care and treatment and the very basic right to be treated with dignity and compassion.
All assisted living facilities must clearly post a list known as the resident’s bill of rights where all residents can see it. Typically these rights will include:
- Medical rights – to be kept informed of health status and medication – and the rights of relatives to be kept informed of any change in a loved one’s health status or impending release;
- Physical rights – to be free of any physical abuse, sexual abuse, or verbal abuse, including use of physical or chemical restraints for the convenience of the nursing home staff rather than the avoidance of self-injury;
- Right to privacy – to receive and send mail, use the telephone, share a room with a spouse and keep personal belongings; and
- Financial rights – to handle one’s own money or designate an individual to handle finances, have access to financial records and statements, as well as information about nursing home fees.
If these rights aren’t being upheld, you should contact the South Carolina nursing home negligence attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm immediately. Quick action can help protect you or your loved one’s health and finances and stop further abuse from taking place.
Louthian Law Firm: Legal Help for Victims of South Carolina Nursing Home Neglect
The South Carolina nursing home negligence lawyers at the Louthian Law Firm can review your legal options and work with you to determine the most appropriate next step. Many South Carolina assisted living facilities are part of a larger chain, and they have their own legal representation.
The nursing home’s lawyers may try to dispute abuse and neglect claims, but we have represented victims of neglect or abuse in retirement homes and we understand how to deal with negligent facilities and the nursing home attorneys who represent them. While a lawsuit cannot heal bedsores or restore your health, a South Carolina nursing home abuse claim can help recover the large sums spent on a neglectful or abusive nursing home, as well as medical bills incurred by abuse or neglect.
More information on elder abuse can be found at the websites for South Carolina Adult Protective Services, the National Center on Elder Abuse, the Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging and the South Carolina Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging.
Contact Our Columbia Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers Today!
Elderly people are entitled to basic safety, respect and dignity. If you or someone you love is a victim of South Carolina nursing home abuse, you have the right to hold the abuser responsible in court. The Louthian Law Firm has represented injured South Carolinians in nursing home patient abuse and nursing home negligence lawsuits and other personal injury suits since 1959. With our firm on the case, you can rest assured that you’ll get the personalized attention you deserve.
For a free consultation, call our Columbia nursing home neglect attorneys today toll free at (803) 454-1200, or use our online contact form.