Under North Carolina law, residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities have the right, among others, to be treated with respect and dignity, to receive appropriate care and services, and to be free of mental and physical abuse and neglect.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case in many adult care homes, and there are cases of nursing home abuse and neglect in North Carolina.
What is nursing home negligence?
In legal terms, a person is negligent if he or she fails to act with reasonable care which causes harm to another person.
There are many actions that can constitute negligence in a nursing home. For example:
- Failure to ensure that patients receive the medications they need
- An unsafe and unsanitary environment, which can cause infections and sickness
- Inadequate and/or untrained staff of the nursing home
What is nursing home abuse?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 500,000 older adults over the age of 60 are abused or neglected each year, and, unfortunately, many more cases likely go unreported. Though a lot of elder abuse happens at home, many instances do occur in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
The following are types of abuse nursing home residents could be experiencing:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
Abuse can cause patients to shut down emotionally or exhibit unusual behaviors. Pay close attention to your loved one’s mental and physical state if you suspect neglect or abuse.
What are some signs of elder abuse and neglect?
If one of your loved ones is a senior care resident, you want to pay attention to unexplained bruises, bedsores, falls, or changes in their physical or mental condition. It is also important to make sure your loved one is getting their prescribed medications and proper nutrition.
Other serious issues involving senior residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia is wandering off facility grounds or even physical confrontations between residents.
Memory care or dementia units must be secure and the staff should be specially trained to care for residents with these needs.
What can I do if I suspect nursing home abuse or neglect in North Carolina?
If you suspect your loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect, you should contact the county department of social services, who then has the power and resources to investigate the nursing home facility.
If your loved one has been harmed, he or she may also be entitled to damages. We have the experience to fight for senior rights and hold nursing homes and their staff responsible for their actions.
If you are concerned a senior loved one is being abused or neglected, contact or call SeiferFlatow today at 704-512-0606.