Despite numerous South Carolina laws designed to protect the elderly from abuse, elder abuse occurs far too often in South Carolina nursing homes. Elder abuse in nursing homes can take many forms from medical negligence, financial mismanagement, and even criminal forms of fraud or physical abuse.
While placing a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult choice, you can help make sure the experience is beneficial for your family member by doing your due diligence. Knowing what bad signs to look for in nursing homes can help you select a good nursing home for your loved one and can help catch abuse either before abuse occurs or before the abuse spirals out of your control.
First Step: Find Out What Others Say About the Nursing Home
Conducting word of mouth research into a nursing home should be the first step in determining whether a home will treat your family member with the care and respect they deserve. It will often be helpful to begin by reading online reviews of the nursing home. Keep in mind that while one negative online review may simply indicate an outlier complication, a pattern of bad online reviews should raise red flags. You should also make a visit to the nursing home and try to talk with some if the residents, if you are allowed to do so. Most residents who have had bad experiences will be more than happy to talk to anyone who asks.
Additionally, talk to the staff. In many cases, chronic care deficiencies in nursing homes are exposed by whistleblowers, and many employees may be willing to shed light on abuses they have seen. You can also discern a lot from the silence of employees. If employees at the nursing home are tight-lipped and do not readily share information, that could also signal that they believe they have something to hide.
Observe the Nursing Home Conditions: Ask Whether It Looks Like a Clean and Safe Place
Speaking of visiting a nursing home, you can garner a lot of information about a home from its initial appearance. Does the nursing home appear dirty? Is it well dusted and are the floors vacuumed? How old does the furniture look and are the eating facilities spotless? All of these questions can help you paint a picture about the care that the staff puts into facilities maintenance. If the staff has failed to perform regular maintenance and upkeep, imagine how they will treat your loved ones. Often, small problems that may appear like nitpicking will be symptoms of deeper issues with the nursing home.
From a Medical Standpoint, How Do the Residents Look?
Many of the common medical issues that arise in the nursing home environment can be observed on its residents. The largest segment of medical nursing home lawsuits involves fall risks. Fall injuries are normally observable by black and blue marks on a patient’s arms and legs and are normally concentrated on one side of the body. Bruised patients can be an indicator that not enough supervision is provided while residents are mobile. The nutritional health of nursing home residents can also often be readily observable. If some of the residents seem abnormally gaunt, that may point to a nutritional or medication issue.
Contact an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Greenville
If you suspect your elderly loved one is being abused in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, take action now and contact a nursing home abuse lawyer at Bryan Ramey, P.A. We serve the entire Upstate including Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson; and we offer a FREE, confidential case reviews to all prospective clients.