The elderly population represents one of the most helpless and vulnerable classes of society, a fact that makes any violation of their rights inexcusable. These facilities are governed by laws and regulations designed to protect the elderly. When elder care facilities fail to follow these rules, serious consequences can result. Abuse or neglect at an independent living facility, assisted living facility, or nursing home can result in physical or emotional trauma or death to the elderly person and a loss of trust by the family. If you or your family member has suffered elder abuse or neglect, contact us to discuss the legal options available to you.
Graying of the U.S. Population
According to a 2018 U.S. Census Bureau report, in 2035 there will be 78.0 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.4 million under the age of 18. In other words, for the first time in the country’s history, the elderly population will outnumber children. By 2060, nearly one in four Americans will be 65 years and older. The graying of the U.S. population is an inescapable demographic shift that poses a unique set of public health challenges.
Nursing Home Injuries
Some nursing home injuries are unavoidable accidents that could not reasonably have been prevented by the facility. However, many nursing home injuries are the result of carelessness, recklessness, abuse or neglect. Nursing home injuries can involve physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse and neglect. This latter category is where we see the highest number of claims.
Nursing Home Neglect
Neglect in nursing homes frequently occurs because the facility has an inadequate number of properly trained staff to meet the needs of the residents. Neglect can take a variety of forms including (1) failing to meet the basic needs of the resident, such as proper nutrition or medical equipment, (2) failing to meet the medical needs of the resident, (3) failing to meet the hygiene needs of the resident, such as assisting with bathing, and (4) isolating or ignoring the resident.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
It is crucial for family members to monitor for classic warning signs of nursing home neglect, which include:
(1) dehydration and sudden weight loss,
(2) increased illness or incidences of hospitalization,
(3) increased falls causing injury,
(4) bed sores, pressure injuries or other frequent infections,
(5) emotional or social withdrawal,
(6) fearfulness of staff,
(7) unexplained cuts or bruises,
(8) soiled clothing or bedding and
(9) restrictions placed on your ability to visit your loved one.
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorney
It is important to retain counsel who are experienced in evaluating and litigating nursing home abuse and neglect cases to maximize the value of your case. These cases require compliance with South Carolina’s medical malpractice laws, including retention of an expert witness and participation in the notice of intent process. If you have suffered a life altering injury or had a loved one killed at a nursing home, contact us to discuss the legal options available to you.