The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home may be difficult and painful. But it is downright frightening to think that the person you care for is vulnerable to abuse.

Abuse and neglect of the elderly happens all too often, even in settings that should be trusted for care. Unfortunately, it is difficult to quantify the extent of abuse in nursing homes in South Carolina. Even the definitions of abuse vary.

Still, more senior citizens and their families are breaking their silence and helping to shed light on the damage caused by unscrupulous or neglectful nursing home employees and operators. Some experts believe that for every case of nursing home abuse, exploitation or neglect that is reported, about five more go unreported.

Recently, for example, a man told WIS-TV that his 90-year-old mother died after suffering a broken hip and head-to-toe bruises at a Kingstree nursing home. The man said his mother had told him that she was attacked by two women. The Kingstree police were investigating, the TV station reported.

Public Awareness

Studies suggest that one to two million Americans age 65 or older have been exploited, neglected or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection. However, investigators say only one in 14 of these incidents actually reach the attention of public authorities.

Nursing home abuse takes many forms – emotional, physical and financial. Family members can help protect their loved ones in nursing homes by staying alert to any signs of mistreatment.

As the elderly population increases and more people enter nursing homes, it is even more important to raise public awareness of nursing home abuse and neglect.

If you suspect that a member of your family is suffering from neglect or abuse in a South Carolina long-term care facility, or if you are a nursing home resident and need to speak in confidence to an attorney, talk to our South Carolina personal injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm. For a free consultation, fill out our online form or call (877) 936-9707.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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