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Nursing home or elder abuse is a terrible reality for some of our country’s most vulnerable individuals. Elderly loved ones are often at the mercy of nursing home facility staff members. For the most part, facilities obey their duties of care toward residents and don’t cause unreasonable harm. In some cases, however, facilities and staff members engage in negligent, reckless, or violent behaviors that cause harm to nursing home residents. If you suspect elder abuse against one of your loved ones in Mount Pleasant or the Charleston area, don’t wait – contact the Charleston nursing home abuse lawyers at HawkLaw today.

What are the Different Types of Elder Abuse?

Understanding the four main types of elder abuse and their warning signs can help you put an end to this heinous crime in your community. The signs of elder abuse can be highly varied. If you notice anything unusual, such as unexplained injuries or changes in your loved one’s behaviors, it may be worth investigating.

Elder abuse goes widely unreported due to victims being scared or unable to talk about their situations. Look for symptoms of nursing home abuse in these four main categories:

  • Physical abuse. This type of abuse is typically the easiest to detect, as it can leave behind visible marks on the victim. Look for strange bruises, slap marks, bites, burns, and marks that look like they came from restraints.
  • Mental abuse. Staff members may mentally abuse residents by yelling at them, threatening them, verbally abusing them, or otherwise causing them mental, psychological, or emotional grief. Look for changes in your loved one’s behaviors, such as depression, anxiety, fear, or lack of wanting to engage in social activities.
  • Financial abuse. Financial abuse by nursing home staff members, friends, or even family members may occur when someone takes advantage of an elderly person’s illness or mental state to trick them into giving away money or assets. Keep watch over your loved one’s bank accounts to detect unexplained withdrawals or asset losses.
  • Sexual abuse. Staff members may take advantage of residents sexually when they are unable to speak out against them, such as patients with Alzheimer’s. Detect sexual abuse by looking for marks on the resident’s upper thighs, or genitalia injuries. Emotional and behavioral changes may also indicate sexual abuse.

Elders can experience abuse in the form of neglect. If a nursing home fails to take proper care of a resident, causing physical or emotional injury, it is a form of negligence. Neglect can include failing to change adult diapers, resident malnutrition, and failure to take proper action in the event of an emergency. Any action or failure to act that breaches the nursing home or other entity’s duty of care toward the elderly person, resulting in harm, may be grounds for a claim.

Take Action Against Nursing Home Abuse in Charleston

The moment you suspect elder abuse, withdraw your loved one from the facility. Notify the police of your suspicions so they can record your complaint and investigate the issue. If the police find something amiss with the nursing home or otherwise prove elder abuse, you may be able to file a personal injury claim on top of a criminal claim against the offender.

The legal team at HawkLaw can help you sort through South Carolina’s Adult Protection laws, as laid out in Title 43 of the state’s Code of Laws. These laws, the Omnibus Adult Protection Act, provide a system of protection for the state’s adults. It clarifies the responsibilities of nursing home staff members and others involved in the system, as well as addresses the needs and rights of vulnerable adults. It defines elder abuse and outlines how victims may file allegations of abuse and neglect. It also lists civil and criminal penalties for these crimes.

At HawkLaw, we offer confidential, free consultations*. You can explain what happened and hear your legal options. Call (888) HAWKLAW to get in touch with our local nursing home abuse lawyers in Charleston, Mount Pleasant and throughout South Carolina today!

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