Nursing abuse and negligence are among the most prevalent kinds of elder abuse. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, it is estimated that five percent of nursing home patients have been harmed by the negligence of nursing home staff, or suffered an injury as a result of such negligence. Furthermore, this percentage is believed to be a conservative estimate inasmuch as the majority of nursing home abuse and negligence cases are not reported, and they are not made known to the elderly person’s family members and friends.
However, proving that elder abuse has occurred can be challenging. This is, in part, due to a deterioration in the elderly persons’ faculties, including their hearing, vision and ability to think clearly. Thus, it can be difficult for them to be aware of the abuse and to impart information concerning the abuse that they suffered.
If your family member or friend has been the victim of nursing home abuse in Summerville, the attorneys at the Steinberg Law Firm will work zealously on behalf of your loved one to hold the perpetrators of such abuse accountable for acting in violation of the rights of nursing home residents. At the Steinberg Law Firm, our nursing home abuse attorneys are equipped to counsel clients in cases involving physical abuse, emotional abuse, and theft or fraud. These kinds of abuse should not be permitted to occur, and by filing a lawsuit, you will be taking a crucial step toward helping to eradicate abuse and neglect in nursing home facilities.
Nursing home abuse can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse and neglect. Nursing home negligence can involve medical neglect, physician’s neglect, falls, bedsores and malnutrition. Many elderly residents of nursing homes are neglected because nursing homes are insufficiently staffed and receive inadequate funding. Thus, they have an excessive number of residents in comparison to the number of caregivers. As a result, the amount of medical or emotional attention they receive may be deficient.
Signs of physical abuse
Among the signs of physical abuse in nursing homes are injuries for which there is no explanation. These can include welts, fractures, rope marks on the resident’s wrists or ankles, or bedsores. Other signs of abuse include recurrent altercations between a caregiver and a resident, inappropriate attire for the weather and injuries due to falls. Such neglect can also include lack of personal hygiene, which can result in skin infections, and poor nutrition, such as dehydration or extraordinary weight loss.
Signs of emotional abuse
Because residents have very little contact with the outside world, the staff at the nursing home wield an enormous amount of power over the elderly persons who reside in the home. Consequently, they can abuse such power by engaging in the following forms of emotional or psychological abuse:
Signs of financial abuse
Financial abuse can take the form of nursing home theft or fraud, which is a severe type of nursing home abuse that people do not usually consider. This type of abuse differs from physical abuse in that there are no obvious signs regarding the commission of the theft or fraud. In fact, the elderly person may not have even realized that they were a victim of a crime. Such theft could include direct theft, a considerable amount of withdrawals from a resident’s bank accounts, or the use of a patient’s name to apply for credit.
Financial exploitation happens when a caregiver uses access to a patient’s financial records to their advantage, steals or reveals the patient’s financial information to unauthorized persons.
Liability of a nursing home
You may be able to hold a nursing home liable for abuse and negligence provided you can show that the nursing home breached its duty to the patient, and that the breach caused the patient to suffer damages. Although the liability of a nursing home usually results from the negligent care of a patient, it can also stem from negligent maintenance of the premises, negligent choice of equipment, or negligent employment of workers. Pursuant to a theory of vicarious liability, a nursing home can frequently be held accountable for the negligence of a caregiver, provided that the caregiver is an employee, even if the nursing home did not instruct the caregiver to take certain actions.
If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in Summerville, South Carolina, call the experienced nursing home abuse lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm. Our lawyers will advocate for the rights of your loved one and will work to end the suffering they have endured.