South Carolina Elder/Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

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According the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), there are more than 18,000 nursing homes across America with 1.6 million residents. Unfortunately, the National Center on Elder Abuse reports that more than 50% of nursing homes are understaffed, which leads to stress and frustration among staff members who are stretched way too thin. This stress can in turn lead to abuse in elder/nursing homes, which is estimated to occur in 30% of all nursing homes across the United States.

Elder abuse is a term used to describe mistreatment and neglect of older adults. According to the World Health Organization, elder abuse is "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person."

Elder/nursing home abuse presents itself in many different forms, including physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, malnutrition, financial exploitation, identity theft and pure neglect. If you have made the difficult decision to place a family member in a nursing home, you and your family member shouldn't have to suffer through any type of neglect or abuse at the hands of a caregiver or even other residents.

There are some signs and symptoms that can alert you to the presence of elder abuse or neglect. Signs of abuse are frequently obvious or visible, so that you will be able to notice them immediately. Broken bones, bruises, cuts, scars and bed sores are strong signs that abuse is taking place. The signs of neglect may be a bit harder to notice because the injuries aren\'t as visually apparent. Neglect includes providing insufficient food and water, providing insufficient opportunities for, or assistance with, bathing or hygiene, failure to change the resident\'s clothing or undergarments in a timely fashion, insufficient medical attention and failure to provide the proper assistance of any sort to residents who are not self-sufficient.

A loved one may be hesitant or unwilling to speak about these abuses, due to embarassment or fear of retaliation; therefore, you should be sure to be alert for new injuries, odors, or other signs that your loved one is being abused. Changes in the environment, as well as changes in the resident\'s mood or attitude, may also be signals that abuse, neglect or mistreatment is occurring.

Elder abuse can also occur outside of a nursing home setting, in a home care setting. In these instances, the abuse may be perpetrated by a relative, associate or a paid companion or caregiver. Deserting an elderly person, who is not self-sufficient, for such a length of time that they are likely to endanger their own well-being is also considered a form of abuse.

An act of negligence, abuse or neglect of an elderly person may result in one/all of the following courses of actions:
an investigation by an adult protective services agency
a civil suit for damages
criminal prosecution

If you suspect that someone you love has been abused or mistreated in a South Carolina nursing home, you should contact a South Carolina elder/nursing home abuse lawyer or attorney immediately and request a consultation. If you or someone you love has suffered abuse at the hands of another resident, you should also contact a South Carolina civil lawyer or attorney if you are seeking damages outside of the facility.

A South Carolina elder/nursing home abuse lawyer or attorney will offer a free nursing home abuse consultation, during which they will evaluate your case, explain your legal rights, and assess any damages to which you may be entitled. A South Carolina elder/nursing home abuse lawyer or attorney will also be well-versed in South Carolina nursing home abuse laws, and therefore highly qualified to argue your case should it go to court, or to reach an out-of-court settlement through negotiation.

If you are ready to contact a South Carolina elder/nursing home abuse lawyer or attorney, visit the website of the American Bar Association. The site features a lawyer locator to help you search for attorneys in your area.

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