Charleston Nursing Home Lawyer
Nursing home abuse is routinely underreported because abused patients are frequently afraid or unable to report the abuse. The experienced elder abuse attorneys at the Max Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC are committed to ensuring that the courts hold perpetrators of nursing home abuse and neglect accountable for their actions. If you or a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, contact a Charleston injury lawyer today.
There are over 2,000 long-term care facilities in the state of South Carolina, and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program receives approximately 8,000 complaints annually.
Spotting Elder Abuse is Challenging
Nursing home patients are some of the most vulnerable members of the population. They are frequently without family or friends, so they are at the mercy of the staff and administration of the facility. If they do have visitors, the people visiting don’t have the knowledge or experience necessary to recognize subtle signs of abuse or neglect. Some patients aren’t cognitively able to report the abuse. The ones who are, maybe afraid the abuser will retaliate if he or she tells anyone what’s happening. Sadly, some patients who do report their fears to family or friends find that people do not believe them.
Watch for Red Flags in Charleston
Spotting nursing home abuse can be challenging to the untrained eye. The following red-flags may indicate that abuse is occurring:
- Loss of weight. Losing weight can be a sign of improper feeding. Serving a patient the wrong food or not assisting them with the eating process, if needed, can result in significant weight loss. Not eating can also be a sign of fear.
- Grab marks or bruising. Arms and wrists may show signs of bruising or grab marks if caregivers handle the patient roughly or use restraints.
- Behavior changes. Fearful victims may withdraw emotionally from friends and family. Self-imposed isolation, sadness, or anger are all signs that abuse may be occurring.
- Broken bones or frequent falls. Falls happen when people leave walkers or wheelchairs too far away. Unanswered calls for bathroom assistance may prompt the victim to attempt to use the bathroom without the help he or she needs.
- Bedsore (pressure ulcers). Painful pressure ulcers develop when caregivers neglect patients by leaving them sitting or lying in bed too long without assistance to change position.
- Depression or crying. Caregivers commonly miss depression in the elderly. Sadness is not a normal part of aging. Facilities must meet the psychosocial needs of their patients along with their physical needs. Chronic sadness is a sign that caregivers are inadequately treating the patient’s depression. Depression can also be a sign that the patient is feeling sad and vulnerable as the result of abuse or neglect.
- Skin Tears. Elderly patients have very fragile skin. When caregivers handle patients too roughly, the skin tears easily.
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs are common in the elderly. Patients who frequently have UTIs may not be receiving adequate continence care or toileting assistance.
If you suspect that your loved one is currently experiencing nursing home abuse, contact a Charleston elder abuse attorney as soon as you can. A lawyer will help you take the necessary steps to help your loved one get away from the abuser and receive the compensation that you deserve.
Report Suspected Abuse in Charleston Immediately
Suspected abuse should be immediately reported to the South Carolina Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at 1-800-868-9095. For the safety of the victim, it’s important to report as soon as possible so the ombudsman can step in and investigate the situation.
Relocate the Victim
Keeping an elderly abuse victim safe can be complicated and stressful. You may need to relocate the victim after making the report. The perpetrator or facility may try to hide evidence that the abuse happened. You must take steps quickly to support the victim and protect his or her rights.
The victim deserves legal representation to ensure that someone conducts a proper investigation and that those who are responsible pay for the damages. Contact the Charleston elder abuse attorneys at the Max Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC, and we will fight for the compensation your loved one deserves.