Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Abuse and Neglect

If your loved one lives in a nursing home, chances are you worry about her well-being and whether she receives proper treatment. South Carolina law expects nursing homes to meet a specific standard of care. This involves providing sanitary and safe conditions; all necessary food, water, and other essentials; and any medical care and medications that a resident requires. While you and your loved one should expect this basic standard of care in these facilities, many nursing homes allow staff members to neglect or abuse residents and cause serious harm.

Nursing homes can cause physical and emotional injuries to residents, including through:

  • Neglect
  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse

Far too many instances of nursing home abuse go unreported for a variety of reasons. First, staff members may intimidate residents into keeping the abuse secret by threatening additional harm. Furthermore, many nursing home residents suffer from mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, so they may not understand the nature of the abuse or remember what caused their injuries in the days following the abuse.

Because nursing home abuse victims face challenges reporting the harm they suffered, visiting loved ones must know how to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse. If you suspect that nursing home staff injured your loved one, report your concerns to the nursing home administration, to law enforcement if necessary, and then call an experienced injury attorney who can advise you of your loved one’s rights.

Physical and Emotional Signs

Not all nursing home abuse causes physical wounds. Always watch out for the following signs that your loved one may have suffered nursing home abuse:

  • Injuries in various stages of healing
  • Bed sores or other rashes
  • Rapid weight loss or gain
  • Staff will not let you visit with your loved one alone
  • Your loved one seems fearful of a particular staff member
  • Your loved one seems fearful of any human contact
  • Unusually quiet or withdrawn behavior
  • Blood stains or tears on clothing or undergarments
  • Marks on wrists or legs that may indicate signs of restraint
  • Sudden mental regression or deterioration
  • Diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Soiled bedding or clothing

Often, nursing home staff may try to cover up abuse by citing another reason for injuries or odd behavior. If residents suffer multiple traumatic injuries, staff may claim the residents repeatedly fell or otherwise injured themselves. However, this can signal neglect and inadequate assistance. If you notice anything suspicious, never fear speaking out for your loved one.

Discuss Your Concerns with a Charleston, South Carolina, Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Victims of nursing home abuse have the right to compensation for the harm and losses they suffered. The experienced legal team at the Hughey Law Firm stands up for the rights of Charleston nursing home residents and can help you hold a nursing home liable for negligent or abusive behavior. Please call (843) 881-8644 or contact us online for a free case evaluation today.