Nursing Home Negligence: How to Identify Neglect and Abuse

nursing home negligenceAccording to a 2001 study conducted by the U.S. House of Representatives, approximately one in three nursing homes were cited for violations of federal standards that harmed or had the potential to harm a resident. One major factor that contributes to the prevalence of elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes is the lack of information known by family and friends of nursing home residents on how to identify abuse and neglect.

Signs of Nursing Home Financial Exploitation

Anyone in a position of power over a nursing home resident, such as aides or even family members, can take advantage of her for financial gain. Financial exploitation can include stealing a resident’s money or valuables, coercing her into giving away money or valuables, or cashing checks without permission. Some visible signs of financial exploitation are a resident giving uncharacteristic gifts to caretakers, a lack of amenities in the room. or transferring power of attorney or other property without fully understanding what that means.

Signs of Nursing Home Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is one of the most difficult forms of abuse to detect, but it can be the most damaging. Emotional abuse can include humiliating or demeaning a resident, habitually blaming, threatening or intimidating him, isolating him from friends and social gatherings, or simply ignoring him. Some visible signs of emotional abuse in a resident are unexplained changes in behavior, isolation and withdrawing from usual activities. Some signs of emotional abuse in a caretaker include verbal aggression toward a resident, an uncaring attitude and/or controlling behavior.

Signs of Nursing Home Physical Abuse

Physical abuse can involve scratching, pushing, hitting, slapping, inappropriate use of restraints or threatening a resident with violence. Physical signs of abuse include any kind of injury, a delay between the injury occurring and the resident receiving medical care, and a history of repeated injuries, especially if those injuries have been treated at different hospitals for no discernable reason. Behavioral signs of abuse include the resident not explaining how an injury occurred, giving inconsistent stories or offering unlikely explanations for the injury.

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home neglect can take many forms. Nursing home workers are often responsible for caring for their residents’ health, nutrition, personal hygiene and living conditions. Failing to appropriately care for any of these is considered neglect. Personal hygiene neglect includes failing to give a resident needed help in bathing, brushing his teeth, nail-clipping, changing clothes or any other act of basic personal hygiene. Basic needs neglect involves failing to provide residents with food, water and/or a safe environment. Medical neglect involves failing to prevent or appropriately treat medical conditions. Victims of medical neglect may experience bedsores, preventable falls and/or incorrect medication.

Do You Need a Nursing Home Negligence Attorney?

If your friend or family member is the victim of nursing home negligence in South Carolina, contact the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson right away. We can investigate the standard of care at the victim’s nursing home, among other investigative acts. To get started on your case, schedule a free case evaluation online or call us at: