Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in York County
It can be hard to entrust a loved one to the care of a nursing home. When a long-term care facility breaches your trust by neglecting or harming your loved one, you may feel devastated.
If you have identified some warning signs of nursing home abuse in York County, you should consider taking action to protect your family member. The legal process can be challenging, but our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers at Schiller & Hamilton could ease your burden during this emotionally charged time.
State and Federal Laws Protecting the Elderly
Nursing home abuse is so pervasive that all 50 states and the federal government have enacted laws to protect residents. South Carolina’s Omnibus Adult Protection Act, codified at South Carolina Code of Laws § 43-35-5, prohibits ill-treatment of vulnerable adults. The Adult Protection Act defines specific types of mistreatment, establishes reporting procedures, and imposes both civil relief and criminal punishments for confirmed cases of abuse, exploitation, and neglect.
The federal Nursing Home Reform Act identifies minimum standards for nursing facilities. Federal Code of Regulations Title 42 § 483.12 also provides similar protections against abuse and neglect. The 42 CFR § 483.10 outlines nursing home resident’s fundamental rights, including:
- Privacy and dignity
- Personal choice to participate in activities
- Protection from retaliation for speaking freely
- Accommodation of physical and emotional requests
- Security of personal belongings
- Participation in healthcare planning
This law also prohibits staff from using physical restraints and pharmaceuticals to discipline and control patients. Families should speak with a lawyer about common warning signs if they believe their loved one is being abused in a nursing home.
Mistreatment of Long-Term Facility Residents in York County
The ill-treatment of residents in nursing homes may continue despite these legal protections. Harm could result from active abuse and exploitation or neglect. Through either means, the well-being of residents is at stake.
Residents may experience physical and sexual abuse such as unnecessary restraining or unwanted sexual contact. Psychological abuse may take the form of mockery or humiliation. In some cases, staff members may try to convince residents to transfer assets or property to them.
Relatives who suspect maltreatment of a family member should contact a York County attorney familiar with the warning signs nursing home abuse. A lawyer who focuses on nursing home abuse could guide families through the steps of notifying the proper authorities, securing a safe living environment for the family member, and obtaining appropriate compensation for the harm inflicted.
Potential Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
The best way to avoid having a loved one abused in a local nursing home is to prevent it. Prevention may be easier said than done, but family members can take steps to put their relative in the safest situation. Families should try to visit their relatives often and at unscheduled times. It is crucial to note whether the staff allows private visits and whether the resident is available as soon as the family arrives.
Families should also engage with the nursing home staff by asking questions about their relative. While at the nursing home facility, relatives can look for potential signs of abuse, including:
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Inadequate hygiene
- Changes in the resident’s behavior, personality, or demeanor
- Increase in frequency of infections
Age and declining health can account for many of these signs. Since abuse is an equally likely reason, and the resident is unlikely to speak for themselves, family members must step in to fill that void. By working with a skilled attorney, the family could swiftly halt the abuse and remedy the situation.
Ask a York County Lawyer About the Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Whether you have confirmed your suspicions or are first seeing the warning signs of nursing home abuse in York County, your relative’s health and safety is of paramount concern. At Schiller & Hamilton, our attorneys are familiar with the facilities in the surrounding area and the resources available to help you take action against them. Please contact us to help you determine the best course of action to protect your loved one.