What Happens When Nursing Homes Neglect the Elderly?

March 14, 2020

When an elder is being neglected, it’s often some kind of power trip. Here is this helpless elderly person, who may not be able to speak or report wrongdoing, and this person is neglecting them purposefully. Neglect can include not dressing or changing medical wrappings correctly or prohibiting them access to food.

Because neglect spans so far in definition, it’s critical that you keep a sharp eye out when you suspect abuse. For example, everything may seem very well and good when you visit the nursing home, but behind closed doors, there could be something amiss.

If you suspect an elderly person is being neglected in a nursing home, contact a nursing home abuse attorney in Kershaw.

How to Identify if an Elder is Being Neglected

When it comes to neglect, you’re looking specifically at that action or inaction that leads to harm, risk of harm, or distress. In other words, the law acknowledges that these elderly people discussed are not happy and healthy active seniors. Elderly neglect often refers to people in nursing homes or assisted living facilities where they need medical attention, or in the least, they need basic help.

The elderly that are most likely to experience neglect often include people on medication, who cannot communicate clearly, experienced medical issues that may present issues for day to day activities. There are healthy people in nursing homes who do fall victim to abuse, but often they’re not targeted the way that vulnerable patients are over time.

The signs of elder abuse can vary by person, but typically abused elderly patients will have trouble sleeping, appear more confused than is normal, and lose weight without cause. Other symptoms of abuse include trauma reactions such as rocking, or other nervous ticks, and becoming withdrawn. The biggest sign that you can see is the physical presence of damage or abuse. Doctors on staff should thoroughly understand the need to identify these signs as well.

Possible Consequences for Doctors and Medical Staff

Not only can you open a civil case against the staff, but you can also pursue consequences specific to medical staff. When you look out at what the medical community should do for the patients, speaking up against abuse is pretty near the top of the list.

When the medical staff fails to report or are the people behind the abuse, they can lose their ability to provide a professional medical judgment and even their professional licenses. You can always file a physician’s complaint with the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation, where they handle the health care professions.

What Happens When No One Reports the Neglect?

When no one reports the neglect, the abuse will continue. If it’s a matter of not knowing who to report to, the medical staff should notify elder services, or adult protection services as soon as they know of the abuse. You don’t have to have all the answers right away. Start by alerting the medical staff, and then the authorities.

Charlotte police will often provide a substantial amount of help to families who just discovered the abuse. Additionally, medical staff and even administrative staff should alert the proper authorities. The trouble is that many staff feel that they’ll put their job at risk if they speak up or say something.

Ultimately, if you see neglect, report it. Whether it’s your loved one or someone else that you see and notice the signs, then you should contact the authorities.

What Can You Do If You Suspect an Elder is Being Neglected?

If you suspect neglect, the best thing you can do is to report it. The second thing you can do is to remove your loved one from that facility while you go through the legal process of filing claims. Finally, starting the legal process can help you ensure that the proper people are held responsible.

You don’t have much control or ability to contribute to any criminal case, but you can open a civil case to pursue justice for the damage caused.

Should You Contact a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer?

When you’re working with a South Carolina nursing home abuse law firm, you’ll have some insight into the investigation and what else you can do. That means that you can go beyond the reach of a victim’s advocate’s groups and instead start to build a civil case that will proceed whether the criminal case happens or not. To get started on gathering evidence and constructing a case to stand up for what happened to the elderly person in your life, contact Connell Law.

At Connell Law firms, we provide aid and assistance to the victims of Columbia, SC. Our team specializes in nursing home and elderly abuse. Get in touch is our firm now.