Placing the care of your loved one in the hands of a nursing facility is an emotional experience. But it is also an intellectual one, which requires you to trust the caregivers, nurses and doctors to provide the necessary care. But, too many times nursing homes are negligent, which can result in hospital bills, broken bones and death. Sometimes, the conduct is intentional and constitutes nursing home abuse, and it is sometimes even criminal. (Andy has had certified nursing assistants “plead the 5th” during their civil deposition.) In either instance, you owe it to your family to find an experienced South Carolina nursing home negligence lawyer.
In his first nursing home negligence case in 2001, the firm won the largest verdict in Union County’s history at the time. Since then, Andy Arnold has represented individuals and families throughout South Carolina who have been harmed by nursing home negligence. For families of people injured through nursing home neglect and abuse, The Law Office of W. Andrew Arnold waives the initial consultation fee.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect Cases
There are nearly 16,000 nursing home facilities across the country. In South Carolina, there are 195 nursing homes with more than 20,000 licensed beds. The Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC-DHEC) is responsible for health regulation inspections.
With our aging population, there has been a nursing home building boom. Unfortunately, profit sometimes gives way to quality of care. Several states have moratoriums on nursing home construction. On behalf of your loved ones, nursing home abuse attorney Andy Arnold advises you to look out for the following types of incidents:
Accidents happen, but multiple falls in a short time period are an immediate red flag. And truth be told, nursing homes are required care plans, and these care plans often times dictate whether a resident needs one person assist with their transfers or two person assist. All to often, the care plan calls for two CNAs to assist with transferring, changing or repositioning but the reality is there is only enough staff scheduled for one to to that job. When the resident breaks a bone because of insufficient staffing, it is not accident.
FRACTURES OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN
Seniors’ bones can be more delicate than others, and for this reason the standard of care is higher. It is common sense: Brittle bones require more protection. The risk associated with a broken bone is death, which is the common result of a fractured hip or femur. But, bones do not just snap spontaneously while they lay in bed. So, someone knows. We can help you find out who.
Hydration is critical for people of all ages, and failure to properly hydrate residents is a sign of neglect. And again, the margin for error when caring for grandparents and the elderly is small. Dehydration leads to other problems, including skin breakdown.
The mere existence of a bedsore may indicate a failure to properly reposition or hydrate a resident, or failure to get the resident out of bed and moving about. Leaving a resident in one position day in and day out has a very predictable outcome: pressure ulcers also known as bed sores. The ulcers deepen, skin and tissue die, infection sets and in and then your family is facing a medical emergency. Bed sores are preventable.
While some seniors are forced onto special diets because of health concerns, rapid weight loss can be a sign of neglect. But, even heavy patients who develop bed sores should be kept on a high calorie and high protein diet. So, it is no always simple, but medicine is a science and there is a proper method to assess weight loss, individualized resident needs and to schedule sufficient staff to make sure everyone gets fed.
Ask your loved one how often they see staff members, and ask the Director of Nursing how many hours per day each worker is assigned. However, if you are like the majority of families, your loved one will be helpless to recall the name or face of their caregivers or even how often they receive care. Use Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare section to see information about a nursing home’s staffing levels as well as inspections by DHEC. The outcome of insufficient staffing are the outcomes discussed above.
When You Need a South Carolina Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
The law firms representing nursing homes have attorneys who protect their clients from responsibility. The text book defense has a very basic counterpoints but it takes experience to do it well. To be successful at a lawsuit against a nursing home, you need an aggressive litigator with experience arguing high stakes cases — including million dollar nursing home cases. It can be a long road, but if there is a case, Andy Arnold and his litigation staff will fight as long as it takes.
Andy has created a website with information related to prevention of nursing home abuse and neglect.
If Andy can assist or offer advice regarding nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, then contact us at 864.242.4800. We will waive our standard consultation fee, and meet with you. Contact our Greenville, SC law firm for a free consultation by calling 864-242-4800.