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Choosing to move our aging loved ones into a nursing home is a common solution for many families across the nation. Others need to spend time in a nursing care facility for transitional care after a surgery, a heart attack, a stroke, or some other injury or condition with a long recovery time. When we have to spend time in short-term care or trust in a facility for the lifelong care of our elders, we expect above standard care which includes maintaining and safe environment and getting treated with respect and dignity.
Federal and state laws regarding nursing care facilities require yearly inspections to ensure facilities meet minimum standards for health safety, fire safety, and overall quality of care. In fact, the government will cut off a facility’s ability to receive Medicare and Medicaid payments if it continues to fail inspections.
In recent years, Heartland Health Care Center in Union, South Carolina, has received 14 health citations, including seven from the most recent inspection. An upward trend in the number of deficiencies over the last few years suggests care and conditions at Union’s Heartland Health Care Center may have worsened with time, which may have put residents at risk for injury and illness. Increased deficiencies during facility inspections often correlate with abuse and neglect, a constant worry for residents of nursing facilities across South Carolina.
Physical harm and injury is only one aspect of abuse and neglect. Victims also need to cope with the emotional trauma and financial losses related to the abuse and neglect, and recovery. If a family member or other loved one has suffered abuse or neglect at Heartland Health Care Center in Union, then you may have the right to take legal action for damages related to the injury on his or her behalf. The skilled legal team of nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Hughey Law Firm can help you hold the facility and its employees responsible for the harm they caused your loved. one. Contact us at (843) 881-8644 for a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case.
South Carolina law contains specific statutes to protect residents in nursing homes; most of which are found in the Omnibus Adult Protection Act, which also provides legal definitions of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
With an understanding of South Carolina’s definitions of abuse and neglect, you will better understand how even some of the most minor deficiencies can lead to injury or harm for a loved one who resides at Heartland Health Care Center. Below are some of the details of the facility’s most recent published inspections. Inspectors found several deficiencies which include:
Although Heartland Health Care Center has been found deficient as described above, that does not necessarily mean residents there have been abused, neglected, or suffered physical or emotional injuries. Yet, knowing the details of these inspections should motivate you to pay close attention when you visit a loved one in the facility. If you suspect or know your family member or another Heartland Health Care Center resident has been abused or neglected, or you suspect ongoing malfeasance, call the Long Term Care Ombudsman from the South Carolina Department on Aging at 1-800-868-9095 as soon as possible to file a complaint. The ombudsman will initiate an investigation into the complaint and ensure residents are not being mistreated.
Nursing home abuse and neglect sometimes go unreported by residents of South Carolina nursing facilities because they fear retaliation. Your loved one might not always tell you if they have been treated poorly. This means you have to be diligent about watching for signs of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Some signs and symptoms might be caused by something else, so they don’t automatically indicate abuse or neglect. Yet, if you notice any of the following you should investigate further.
Physical injuries caused by abuse or neglect are the easiest to notice. Sometimes accidents happen, but if you see any of the following visible signs, you should report them immediately to ensure your loved one is getting proper care and treatment.
Noticing behavioral signs of nursing home abuse and neglect is much more difficult. You might not see physical signs of neglect and behavioral symptoms might indicate other mental health issues a resident is experiencing. While it’s not foolproof, a good rule of thumb is to consider how your loved one’s behavior differs from their norm. For example, if your loved one struggles with depression, symptoms of depression such as withdrawal and sleeping a lot might not indicate abuse or neglect. Yet, when a loved one isn’t normally depressed, these symptoms can indicate something much more serious is going on.
Some examples of behavioral signs to watch for include:
In most cases, financial abuse leaves a paper trail which makes it easy to spot, if you know what to look for. If you are responsible for your family member’s finances, look for the following things which might indicate financial exploitation or abuse:
If you choose to take legal action against a South Carolina nursing facility for damages on behalf of a loved one because of injuries sustained as a result of abuse or neglect, a verdict in favor of the plaintiff or a settlement might lead to compensation for some or all of the following economic and non-economic costs:
If a family member died as a result of injuries related to neglect or abuse at Heartland Health Care Center in Union, or any other nursing facility in South Carolina, you might have the right to file a wrongful death suit. South Carolina law permits survivors to sue for damages depending on their relationship with the deceased. In addition to recovering some of the previously listed damages, surviving family members might also recover funeral costs, and expenses for burial or cremation.
A qualified nursing home abuse and neglect attorney can advise you on the best course of action for your family and which damages might apply to your circumstances. Look at the Hughey Law Firm’s results to get an idea of what they can do for you.
Your loved one deserves the best care possible when residing at a nursing care facility, even if only for short-term rehabilitation. Facilities and their employees should never abuse or neglect residents. Those who do must face consequences. When you report abuse and neglect and hold wrongdoers accountable, you also help protect other residents from falling victim to the same situation in the future.
If you believe that Heartland Health Care Center in Union or one of its staff members has acted in a manner that injured your loved one, accidentally or willfully, contact Hughey Law Firm today to speak with one of our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys. You can reach us by phone at (843) 881-8644 or you can email us by clicking here.
We accept personal injury cases, including nursing home neglect and abuse cases, on a contingency fee basis, which means we deduct attorney fees and costs from any compensation we secure for your family member in the form of a settlement or court-awarded damages. You never have to worry about paying attorney fees or any costs upfront.
Hughey Law Firm LLC
1311 Chuck Dawley Blvd. | Suite 201
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
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