If you have reason to believe your loved one is a victim of abuse, it is crucial that you speak out on their behalf. For many seniors, it may be physically, cognitively, or emotionally challenging to make an abuse complaint on their own. Reach out to a compassionate attorney to discuss the first steps to take if you suspect nursing home abuse in Rock Hill.
Risk Factors for Nursing Home Abuse
Before considering the steps to take after nursing home abuse is suspected, it useful to understand the common risk factors of abuse. There is no way to predict every instance of abuse, but certain risk factors make it more likely. Common risk factors include:
- Understaffed facilities
- Inadequate security
- Patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s
- Poorly-screened caregivers
- Undertrained caregivers
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Steps to Take when you Suspect Abuse in a Rock Hill Nursing Home
There are many potential indicators of abuse, including unexplained injuries, bed sores, weight loss, or unusual behavior. The following steps can be critical upon noticing any of these indicators of abuse in a Rock Hill nursing home.
Step 1: Ensure the Safety of the Resident
When abuse is suspected, the most important thing is to ensure the safety of a vulnerable resident. In many cases, this can involve removing the resident from the nursing home during an investigation. If abuse is taking place, there is the potential for retribution should a complaining victim remain in the care of the facility. In case of an emergency, dial 9-1-1 right away.
Step 2: Gather Evidence and Document Everything
Once the at-risk senior is safe, it is necessary to document the allegations of abuse carefully. This includes not only a review of the facts but also documentation of any communication with the nursing home facility.
Step 3: Register a Complaint with the Nursing Facility
Once the evidence is collected, the next step is to bring those concerns to the senior home. In Rock Hill, these facilities are required to address the concerns of residents and their families. However, in many cases, a nursing home will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid any responsibility for abuse. Even if your complaint is unaddressed, it is important to exhaust every option when dealing with nursing home abuse.
Step 4: Contact the Authorities
In most cases, the next step is to contact the authorities. If the abuser is a threat to other residents, this step may need to be taken earlier in the process. Even in non-emergency cases, it is often best to leave these matters to law enforcement or another state agency.
Step 5: Hire a Lawyer
Criminal proceedings are not the only way to hold an abuser accountable. Hiring a Rock Hill attorney can be an important step toward holding the abuser accountable. A nursing home abuse lawyer can seek justice through the civil courts at the same time that criminal charges are working their way through a criminal court. A successful civil claim can recover monetary damages on behalf of an abuse victim.
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Talk to a Rock Hill Attorney About Your Next Steps
If you suspect your loved one has suffered abuse in a Rock Hill nursing home, you should immediately take steps to fix the problem. Abusive situations can get worse with time, and your loved one’s safety could be in jeopardy. Ensure your loved one’s rights are protected by contacting a Rock Hill lawyer from Schiller & Hamilton.