Nursing home patients, which include the elderly and mentally or physically disabled, are some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens. Because of their age or physical condition, nursing home patients place significant trust in nursing homes and their employees to provide adequate care and treatment. For the most part, nursing homes and their employees do an excellent job caring for their patients. Unfortunately, the trust that nursing home patients place in nursing homes and their employees can sometimes be abused. When this happens, nursing home patients can suffer significant injury and suffer greatly, and the families of patients grieve as well.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence?
Nursing home abuse and neglect can take a variety of different forms, and each state has different laws or statutes defining exactly what constitute abuse or neglect. In South Carolina, the Omnibus Adult Protection Act defines what conduct gives rise to a legal cause of action:
- “Psychological abuse” means deliberately subjecting a vulnerable adult to threats or harassment or other forms of intimidating behavior causing fear, humiliation, degradation, agitation, confusion, or other forms of serious emotional distress.
- “Physical abuse” means intentionally inflicting or allowing to be inflicted physical injury on a vulnerable adult by an act or failure to act.
- “Neglect” means the failure or omission of a caregiver to provide the care, goods, or services necessary to maintain the health or safety of a vulnerable adult including.
- “Exploitation” means causing or requiring a vulnerable adult to engage in activity or labor which is improper, unlawful, or against the reasonable and rational wishes of the vulnerable adult.
If a nursing home patient has experienced any of this conduct then they may be able to sue the nursing home to recover damages for injuries. An experienced nursing home abuse and negligence attorney can help with this process.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
In order to protect oneself or a loved one, it is important to be able to recognize common signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse and neglect. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, these signs include:
- Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns;
- Changes in patient mood, including withdrawal from normal activities or sudden depression;
- Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss;
- Strained or tense relationships between patient and caregiver, such as frequent arguments; and
- Sudden changes in financial situations, which may be a sign of exploitation.
Any person who has actual knowledge of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult must report the incident to South Carolina’s Adult Protective Services Program.
Contact a Greenville Nursing Home Negligence Attorney
If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or negligent, a Greenville negligence attorney can help you protect your rights. Nursing home patients should not have to live in fear and suffer injuries. David R. Price, Jr., is an experienced Greenville negligence attorney who can help you protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries. Contact David R. Price, Jr., for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.