Nursing Home Neglect in Columbia, SC

For adult children, placing their mother or father in a nursing home can be one of the most difficult decisions they ever make, but often it seems like the best choice for everyone concerned, especially when the elderly parent requires 24/7 care, or when the son or daughter is ill-equipped to proper care for their elderly parent.

People usually place their loved one in a nursing home with the “best intentions.” The nursing home advertises that it provides quality care, and the adult son or daughter believes the nursing home’s claims. The problem is that if we believe everything that we’re told by nursing homes, we’ll have a false sense of security.

There is a darker side to nursing homes and it has to do with nursing home abuse and neglect. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), elder abuse refers to “an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship [with someone 60 or older] involving an expectation of trust."

How common is elder abuse or neglect?

The Department of Health and Human Services on Aging says that we don’t know how many people are victims of elder abuse and neglect. The main reason why the data is unclear is because abuse and neglect in the nursing home setting are grossly underreported.

Many elderly residents are reluctant to report maltreatment because they are afraid of retaliation from their caregivers. Other victims complain of abuse or neglect, but their caregivers explain away their complaints as “figments of their imagination” or the dementia talking.

Several studies have shed light on the nursing home abuse epidemic. In 2000, research conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse on over 2,000 nursing home residents revealed that 44% of them were victims of abuse, and 95% of them had been neglected or they had seen other residents neglected.

The very same studies revealed that over 50% of the nursing home staff surveyed admitted to mistreating the residents under their care.

The National Elder Mistreatment Study found that up to 10% of all people that were surveyed had been abused in the past year. In 2010, a study conducted by Cornell University and the New York City Department for Aging found that elder abuse was almost 24 times greater than the cases reported to the authorities.

Signs of nursing home neglect:

  • Dehydration
  • Bedsores
  • Sudden or unexplained weight loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Soiled or dirty clothing
  • Unclean room
  • Foul odors in the resident’s room
  • Poor hygiene
  • Inadequate clothing
  • Failure to protect the resident from unsafe environments or activities

If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, we urge you to contact a Columbia personal injury attorney from the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC for a free case evaluation.

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