There are plenty of reputable nursing homes in South Carolina, and many of them have earned a Top Performing rating from U.S. News and World Report. However, regardless of how good a facility may seem, you need to remain vigilant for signs of neglect or abuse.
Loved ones may not outright tell you they experience abuse in a nursing home, so you need to watch out for the warning signs. Do not hesitate to bring an attorney into the mix, even if you only suspect abuse.
Wounds and bruises are the more apparent signs of abuse. Take note if a loved one has an unexplained cut, bed sore or infection. You also want to be mindful if someone experiences a drastic loss of weight.
Poor personal hygiene
It is possible that an individual is not suffering abuse, but that the staff members at the nursing home are displaying negligent behavior. Depending on mobility, a person may need help with getting dressed, taking baths and combing her or his hair. If a loved one was ordinarily very well-kept but now seems untidy, then something could be amiss. It could be a sign the facility does not have enough staff members to adequately see every resident.
Unsafe living conditions
In addition to looking at the person, you also want to look at the surroundings. Flickering light bulbs and pulled-up carpet pose hazards to residents. Elderly citizens are more likely to suffer serious injuries from a trip and fall. Bring any hazards to the attention of the staff. It is possible it was just a temporary oversight.
As a result of abuse or neglect, some individuals will develop depression and other mental health problems. Someone who was once very active and cordial may become incredibly quiet and standoffish. Depression can lead a person to not eat or fail to take medications.