How to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in South Carolina

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in South Carolina

Most of us were raised to value and respect our elders; however, we are living in a time when rather than being respected our elders are being subjected to abuse and neglect by the people entrusted with their care. The number of senior Americans is growing rapidly. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the senior age group is now the largest segment of the population. Over the next 30 years the population of those age 65 and older will far outnumber the younger generations.

The problem of nursing home abuse

With the rapidly expanding number of senior citizens, there is also an increase in the number of people who will need nursing home care. The big corporations that own and operate nursing homes are well aware of this trend and they stand to profit richly from the ongoing influx of new patients. When nursing care facilities have more of a focus on the bottom line than they do on providing the highest level of care for their residents our elders suffer because of it.

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, 1 in 10 elders are abused – but the real number is most likely much higher as elder abuse is notoriously under-reported, as only about 25% of actual cases get reported to the authorities.

Elder abuse can take many forms, including:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect, leading to bedsores, malnutrition or dehydration
  • Deprivation of medication, food or even human companionship
  • Confinement to small areas, to beds or to wheelchairs, for example
  • Financial exploitation

Preventing nursing home abuse and neglect

Families take the time to choose just the right nursing home facility for their loved one, they entrust their care to the staff, and then they go home and get on with their busy lives trusting that their loved one is being cared for properly. However, that when things go awry.

Here are some tips for protecting your loved one from nursing home abuse and neglect:

  • Visit frequently
  • Talk to your loved one
  • Look for bruising and broken bones
  • Keep track of behavioral changes
  • Keep an eye on their finances
  • Look out for weight loss
  • Watch their hygiene and look out for bedsores

If you have seen some suspicious signs that could indicate that something is not right with your loved one, report it to the nursing home management. Keep a log with dates and details of the incident. Take photos if that is appropriate. If you should see blatant signs of abuse, report it to the management, and also report it to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Division of Nursing Homes hotline: 800-922-6735.

Contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC today to discuss your case.