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  • Andrew Littlejohn Johnson

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

It's important to know what is going on with your loved one when they are in a third-party's care, such as a South Carolina nursing home or assisted living facility. We understand you may be the only voice for your loved one; you could potentially be the last line of defense in keeping them from being abused or neglected. Attorney Andrew Littlejohn Johnson explains below what warning signs to look for related to potential nursing home neglect or elder abuse.

General Red Flags

  • Facility refuses to allow you to visit

  • Unexplained trips to the hospital

  • Withholding of medical records

  • Loved one requesting financial aid

  • Facility is dirty and unorganized

  • Unsafe living conditions (e.g., temperature, wiring exposed, no lighting, lack of precautions)

  • Soiled sheets or clothing

  • Staff is absent

  • Staff is rude or off-putting to you when you visit

  • Untrained or understaffed employees

  • Frequent unexplained illnesses

Emotional Abuse

  • Family member refuses to talk about the facility with you

  • Family member refuses to acknowledge or look at the caregiver

  • Family member exhibits symptoms comparable to dementia

  • Family member regresses in mental capacity without explanation or diagnosis

  • Random crying by family member

Physical Abuse

  • Visible bruising or scars

  • Broken bones

  • Restraint signs (typically around wrists and ankles)

  • Failing to be on medication

  • Rapid weight loss or weight gain

  • Bed sores/pressure sores/ulcers

  • Poor hygiene

  • Infections

  • Withdrawn, non-communicative, quick to temper

  • Malnutrition

  • Unexplained injuries

Sexual Abuse

  • Bloody underwear

  • Torn clothing

  • Bruising around breasts or genitals

  • Previously undiagnosed STDs

  • Genital infections

  • Genital or anal bleeding

Catching Abuse and Neglect Too Late

If you have found yourself in a position where your loved one died unexpectedly in a nursing home, it's important to determine whether any wrongful conduct led to the death. In these situations, look for the above-listed criteria, the autopsy report, unexplained hospital visits, prior similar instances at the hospital, and specific EMS, hospital, and facility records.

If you do not know how to properly request these records, it may be helpful to reach out to us. Also, if there is a wrongful death claim or survivor claim for your loved one, Andrew can help direct you in this regard. If you just don't know what to do, give us a call. We are here to help you find answers. Our consultation and research costs you nothing and is confidential.

South Carolina Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney

If you have seen some signs that your family member was abused or neglected by nursing home staff, be sure to protect the individual first. Once you can ensure their safety, if you have any questions or wish to know more about your legal rights, give attorney Andrew Littlejohn Johnson a call: 803-764-4099.

We have handled these types of cases before, and each one deserves the care and attention that your loved one required at the facility. We will look into all relevant medical records, determine whether the facility was understaffed, determine if the employees were competent and trained properly, and find out what led to the injury to (or death of) your loved one.


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