Nursing Home Abuse
When our elderly loved ones are unable to care for themselves due to illness or age, one of our options is to move them into a nursing home so they can receive the type of assistance and care that they need in their day-to-day life.
Residents of nursing homes are among the most vulnerable in our society, making them easy targets of neglect and abuse. With almost 1.4 million people residing in nursing homes across the country, the issue of abuse and neglect in these facilities is a significant one that should not be taken lightly.
Studies show that approximately 44 percent of nursing home residents have experienced some form of abuse while in such facility. More often than not, however, the elderly fail to speak up about the improper or lack of care, physical abuse, or mental abuse—perhaps because they are too ill, embarrassed, or scared of being reprimanded.
If you have reason to believe that your loved one has been neglected or suffered abuse while living in a nursing home in South Carolina, our legal team at Kassel McVey can help you recover damages and protect their best interests.
Legal Rights of a Nursing Home Resident
Under both state and federal law, all nursing home residents have extensive legal protections. The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act entitles all residents of nursing homes legal rights such as:
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take several forms. These include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and financial exploitation.
Physical abuse refers to any use of force against a vulnerable individual that did not result from an unintentional accident. Common examples of physical abuse in a nursing home include slapping, kicking, pinching, biting, and choking.
Emotional abuse occurs when a vulnerable person is subject to harassment, threats, and similar behavior that causes humiliation, confusion, fear, and other kinds of emotional distress. In a nursing home, personnel can inflect emotional abuse on its residents by leaving them in isolation or ignoring the resident, or by leaving them in a state of fear or anxiety.
Sexual abuse includes any sexual contact without consent between a nursing home personnel and a resident. It could take the form of touching, forcing the resident to undress for no apparent reason, or even forcing a resident to view pornography.
Nursing home residents are often lonely and in need of company, thus making them easy targets for financial exploitation. Some residents are victims of theft, while others are tricked or scammed into giving away all their savings. Other nursing home residents are also victims of health-care fraud and identity theft.
Apart from intentional abuse from caregivers, nursing home residents can also be victims of neglect—and are simply not provided with the attention and quality of care they rightfully deserve. This is particularly common in nursing homes and long-term care facilities that are either understaffed or that employ unqualified or undertrained staff members. As a result, nursing home residents may not be given proper nutrition and hydration, or may even be left unbathed for hours or days at a time.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
The best way to ensure that your loved one does not fall victim to abuse or neglect in the nursing home is to visit them as often as possible. Common signs of abuse or neglect to watch out for are:
Compensation for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse
Negligent nursing homes and personnel must be held accountable for any damages they may have caused. In South Carolina, victims of nursing home abuse are entitled to compensation for damages such as:
In certain cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. Punitive damages are a form of compensation awarded to a victim as a means to punish the defendant for his or her malicious or egregious conduct.
Contact Kassel McVey Today
Cases involving nursing home abuse are particularly complex, and can be extremely difficult to catch. If you feel that your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, it is important to take action immediately. If not properly monitored or brought to the attention of medical and legal professionals, the situation can become much worse.
We at Kassel McVey will use our years of experience and knowledge to protect the best interests of your loved one. We will thoroughly investigate your case, examine all medical records, gather evidence, review the institution’s policies and procedures, and review federal regulations. We will conduct depositions of key witnesses, consult with medical experts in their fields, and negotiate for a full settlement offer on behalf of you and your loved one.
We want to help ensure that your loved one is protected. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us today at (803) 256-4242.
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1330 Laurel Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
Post Office Box 1476
Columbia, South Carolina 29202
Phone: (803) 256-4242
Toll Free: (855) 256-4242
Fax: (803) 256-1952
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