First Steps to Take if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse in Beaufort
For many seniors, living independently becomes impossible at some point. After a lifetime of living on their own, their medical needs may require around-the-clock care. When Beaufort seniors select a nursing home, they deserve to live their golden years while receiving the highest level of care.
Unfortunately, abuse and neglect are a sad reality. Elderly individuals can be especially vulnerable because some nursing home residents are unwilling or unable to speak out. The family and friends of a nursing home resident must be vigilant in recognizing signs of abuse.
If you suspect your family member is a victim of abuse in their Beaufort nursing home, there are steps you or your family can follow to help protect them. By reporting abuse, you could also ensure this treatment does not happen to another family. A dedicated lawyer from Schiller & Hamilton could help your family through this process.
Talk with a Nursing Home Supervisor
An early step in the process is speaking with a supervisor at the nursing home. While every instance of suspected abuse merits thorough investigation, misunderstandings can happen. In some cases, improved communication or additional attention paid to a resident could resolve any concerns.
Remove Your Loved One from the Facility
When a discussion with a supervisor does not calm a family’s fears, it may be time to take drastic steps to address their loved one’s safety. The best way to do this may be to remove the resident from the situation. The process of resolving claims of abuse does not end when the resident leaves the nursing home, however.
File a Complaint with the State
If abuse is occurring in a Beaufort nursing home, it is critical for the state to take action. After all, if one resident is facing abuse, the odds are high that others are receiving the same treatment. Under state law, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is empowered to investigate abuse claims. If DHEC determines abuse has occurred, they can take action against the nursing home, place the accused staff members on an abuse watch list, or take other steps as needed. Registering a complaint is as simple as sending an e-mail.
Contact Law Enforcement
In many cases, acts of abuse or neglect qualify as crimes. Severe forms of abuse like starvation, neglect, or sexual assault often result in an investigation by law enforcement.
A criminal complaint could have a widespread impact across the entire nursing home. In addition to the person responsible for the abuse, law enforcement could also bring charges against supervisors or co-workers that failed to report or even aided in the abuse. Under certain circumstances, even the owner of a nursing home could face charges.
Speak with a Beaufort Attorney
Finally, it is important to discuss your options with a Beaufort nursing home abuse attorney. In addition to guiding you through the process of notifying the proper authorities, a skilled lawyer could help protect your loved one’s rights and interests.
Often times, protecting a resident’s rights involves filing an abuse lawsuit on their behalf. Your loved one could have grounds for monetary damages against the nursing home or its staff. Schedule a consultation with Schiller & Hamilton to learn more about how an attorney can help.