Nursing homes should be a safe haven for elderly and disabled individuals, offering around-the-clock care that is medically sound and respectful of each person’s needs. Unfortunately, some residents experience neglect or abuse. According to the CDC, up to 3 million serious infections occur in long-term care facilities every year, many of which occur due to poor hygiene practices and staff members neglecting residents.
If a loved one suffers an injury in a nursing home, he or she may be able to recover compensation. Family members of residents may also be able to recover compensation in cases involving the death of a loved one.
Bedsores, clinically referred to as pressure ulcers, are extremely common in nursing homes. Elderly and disabled residents often have thin, frail skin that is prone to rips, tears, and sore development. Generally, bedsores occur when an individual is in one position for too long and the skin wears away, leaving an open sore. These nursing home injuries are especially common on pressure points like the tailbone, hips, elbows, shoulder blades, spine, and heels.
The occasional bedsore may not be cause for concern. However, if your loved one seems to always have multiple bedsores or he or she has sores that will not heal, it may be a sign of neglect on the part of the nursing home staff.
Some nursing home residents suffer slip-and-fall accidents. In some cases, a fall is a sign of a more serious problem, such as abuse or neglect. Someone with limited mobility may try to get up if caregivers refuse to help them get to the bathroom or assist with ambulation, leaving the individual to try to get up on their own. The healing process from a fall is notoriously difficult for aging individuals. A single fall can lead to permanent disability.
Broken bones are a common problem in nursing homes, as aging individuals’ bones are often weaker than those of young adults. A broken bone is a serious incident that should immediately be reported to family members and health care providers. If a facility tries to hide these nursing home injuries or does not have a clear explanation for how an incident occurred, it is possible that the broken bone was caused by caregiver neglect or abuse.
A substantial amount of nursing homes have a higher-than-ideal resident-to-caregiver ratio, leading to improper medication administration. Residents can suffer greatly if they miss a scheduled medication, get too much of a prescribed medication, or get the wrong medication. If a nursing home does not report and take appropriate steps to fix these mistakes, it could be a sign of neglect or abuse.
Do Not Let Your Loved One Suffer in Silence
If you suspect that your loved one’s nursing home injuries are due to abuse or neglect, advocate for them and hire an attorney. The South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyers at the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. are ready to help. Call our office at (803) 324-7200 to discuss your potential legal options.