South Carolina Nursing Homes: Warning Signs and Evidence of Elder Abuse

assistance at nursing homeThe term “nursing home abuse” can have a variety of definitions. It may include harm that’s inflicted physically, emotionally, sexually, or verbally. No matter what type of abuse an elderly person experiences, our laws in South Carolina are intended to hold the individual culprit and facility responsible.

If you think your loved one is suffering at the hands of a caregiver, report your concerns to the nursing home director, the South Carolina Department of Social Services, and the Lt. Governor's Office on Aging. You may also consider filing a legal claim against the facility.

Physical Signs of Elder Abuse

The CDC estimates that more than 500,000 adults experience abuse or neglect every year in the United States. Make sure you are aware of the potential red flags and warning signs, including:

  • bed sores;
  • hair loss;
  • malnutrition or dehydration;
  • cuts, scrapes, bruises or burns;
  • head injuries or broken bones;
  • unexplained infections or sexually transmitted diseases;
  • unexplained weight loss or weight gain;
  • torn, bloody or stained bedding or clothes;
  • unsanitary conditions, poor hygiene or a smell of urine or feces; and
  • sudden changes in financial accounts or missing personal items.

If you notice any of these signs, report it immediately.

Emotional Signs of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse may also wreak emotional and mental havoc. An abused patient may exhibit the following behaviors that you need to be aware of:

  • fear of being touched;
  • agitation;
  • withdrawal;
  • infantile behavior;
  • unresponsiveness;
  • listlessness, wandering or being non-communicative; and
  • anxiety around certain or all staff members.

While these behaviors are not always evidence of victimization, when present with other emotional or physical symptoms, they could be cause for concern. Speak to your loved one candidly about their care, and report any suspected abuse to the appropriate personnel and state agencies.

Putting a Stop to Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina

The victimization of any person is unjustified. This is especially true when it comes to the elderly. When our seniors suffer harm at the hands of a supposed caregiver, the offender as well as the facility, must be held responsible. Civil suits serve the dual-purpose of forcing the nursing home to account for its actions financially, and in turn prevent this type of abuse from happening to someone else. I have helped a number of families take action against abusive senior care facilities, and am here to answer questions you may have. I do not want to see any more vulnerable, elderly citizens mistreated. Nor do I want another facility in South Carolina to get away with hurting the innocent. To speak with me today, call 803-790-2800.

Kenneth Berger
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Columbia and Myrtle Beach car accident and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.