Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse
Putting a loved one into a nursing home is one of the most agonizing decisions many of us will ever face.
With the aging of the Baby Boomers, it is a decision more and more of us will have to make. Of those over 65 in 1990, the federal government estimates nearly half will fall under the care of a nursing facility.
There are many exceptional facilities staffed by caring professionals. But an aging population, cuts to federal and state aid for elder care, and for-profit homes run by large corporations are some of the causes that lead to elder neglect or abuse in Carolina nursing homes.
There are more than 16,000 nursing homes in the United States, housing more than 1.5 million elderly Americans. Frequent turnover of staff and residents (the average stay is less than three years), the fact that more than half of nursing homes are part of large chains and two-thirds are operated for profit, can all contribute to an environment that leads to neglect or abuse.
At-fault nursing facilities can attempt to hide neglect or abuse issues from loved ones and outsiders. They can face problems with state licensing boards and inspectors, lawsuits and bad publicity.
The Carolina nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers at Lee Law Offices, P.A. are experienced in determining the level of care residents are receiving and whether an incident or situation rises to the level of neglect or abuse.
Some residents may be fearful of reporting abuse or attempt to keep it a secret because they do not want to burden family members. And physical and mental limitations may leave some residents unable to communicate that abuse is occurring.
According to the Elder Abuse Foundation, common signs of neglect or abuse can include:
- Unexplained fractures, burns, sprains, bruises or cuts in various stages of healing.
- Frozen joints or bed sores.
- Torn or stained underclothes or unexplained venereal diseases, infection or bleeding.
- Staff refusal or delays in allowing visitors to see residents.
- Staff not allowing visitors to be alone with residents.
- Sudden unexplained changes in behavior.
- Large withdrawals from bank accounts or other changes in banking practices.
- Abrupt changes in wills, trusts or other financial documents.
Other signs may include:
- Dirty or torn clothing
- Poor hygiene
- Broken or missing personal items
- Dirt, lice, fleas or other vermin on skin or clothing or in resident’s room
- Urine or fecal odors
- Neglected health problems
Other areas of possible neglect or abuse in nursing homes include failing to properly supervise patients with dementia or other cognitive impairment; failure to separate residents who have demonstrated aggressive or violent behavior; and failure to perform background checks on nursing home staff.
Nursing homes are big business. Your loved one has a right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times while under the care of such facilities.
If you suspect a facility of neglect or abuse, seeking the professional advice of an attorney experience in nursing home abuse can not only help protect the rights of your loved one, but could have a positive impact on other residents of the home or other homes the company operates.
The Carolina nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers at Lee Law Offices, P.A. offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your concerns. We will pull the nursing home’s records as well as the records of other homes the company operates. And we will talk to the coroner, medical personnel and other experts to determine the best course of action to protect your loved ones and ensure they receive the care, dignity and respect they deserve.