Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers
It is a well-known fact that our population is aging. Currently, more than 1.5 million people live in nursing homes. While many nursing homes do provide good care, others do not, subjecting helpless residents to needless suffering and even death. Often these nursing homes are not sufficiently staffed and their employees are not properly trained.
Understaffing and lack of training can lead to nursing home neglect or abuse. This means a very painful existence for residents who depend on the nursing home staff for the basic essentials of life like food, water, medicine, toileting, grooming, and turning. When a nursing home fails to provide treatment, care, goods or services required to preserve a resident's health, safety, or welfare, and the resident suffers injury as a result, the facility may be liable for nursing home neglect or abuse.
What Does Nursing Home Neglect Look Like?
Although the nursing home resident or family can file a lawsuit to seek compensation for injuries suffered as a result of the nursing home neglect, most families prefer to prevent neglectful situations from arising in the first place.
The federal government has defined high-quality nursing home care. All nursing homes and assisted living facilities that get federal funds via Medicare or Medicaid must prevent all of the following conditions, and its a good checklist for investigating nursing home neglect. Signs of nursing home neglect that you might observe in the resident include:
- Lack of devices to assist with and maintain patients vision and hearing
- Unexplained falls and inadequate fall prevention measures
- Bone fractures caused by improper transfers to and from bed, chair, bathroom and shower
- Failure to provide treatment for acute injuries
- Malnutrition or dehydration, or lack of access to food and water
- Unhygienic, unsafe or unclean living conditions
- Inadequate help for residents with incontinence
- Serious medication errors, either by failure to account for medication interactions or failure to properly dispense prescribed medication
- Untreated bed sores, also known as decubitus ulcers or pressure sores
- Physical or sexual assault by staff or violent residents who are inadequately supervised
Other examples of nursing home neglect might be visible throughout the facility. Signs include:
- Inadequate clinical records
- Insufficient staff, especially the lack of properly trained nurses
- Lack of a formal care plan for the resident that addresses physical, emotional and mental health
- No notification of family members and private doctor when the resident gets injured
- Inadequate security measures to prevent residents from wandering out of the facility
- No supervised medical care by a licensed physician
- No pharmaceutical services
If you worry for the safety of your elderly or disabled family member, or if you suspect nursing home neglect has already caused serious injury, contact the Anderson, South Carolina, elder law firm of Harbin & Burnett LLP, at 1(888)821-0247. Initial consultations are always free, and we handle personal injury cases on contingency so you pay no attorney fees unless we receive a positive settlement or jury verdict.*