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When a loved one needs extra care that their families are not able to give at home, they rely on nursing homes and other elder care facilities to provide services and daily care in a safe, compassionate environment.

But sometimes those facilities fail to meet the standard of care that is expected and required by law. When that happens, residents can be injured, made ill or even suffer an untimely death.

If you have a family member who has suffered from abuse, neglect or other harm in an elder care facility, consult a Greenville nursing home abuse lawyer to learn about your legal rights, help ensure a safe environment, and find out about the possibility of compensation.

Types of Claims

Although people think of it as elder care law, the statutes in North Carolina (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 108A-101) are designed to protect all disabled adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation, regardless of their age. Abuse is defined under the law as:

  • the willful infliction of physical pain, injury or mental anguish
  • unreasonable confinement, or
  • the willful deprivation by a caretaker of services necessary to maintain mental and physical health

Neglect refers to situations where a caregiver fails to provide necessary services, and exploitation is defined as the illegal or improper use of a disabled adult or their resources for another’s profit or advantage. A nursing home abuse attorney in Greenville can help determine which claim needs to be brought forth and how the family can keep their loved one safe.

Signs of Abuse or Neglect

Some indications that an individual might be suffering from abuse, neglect or exploitation include:

  • The appearance of cuts, scratches, bruises or burns
  • Malnutrition
  • Injuries such as dislocations, sprains, and fractures
  • Untreated medical issues
  • Sudden change in a will or power of attorney
  • Distress or distrust of others
  • Mismanaged property or unpaid bills

Causes of Abuse or Neglect

Nursing homes and other elder care facilities are responsible for hiring, training, and managing their employees so that they provide the proper standard of care for their patients. A failure to provide that care may arise from several factors such as:

  • High ratio of patients to staff
  • Failure to provide proper training to staff
  • Staff performing jobs without proper qualifications
  • Failure to provide oversight of staff
  • Assigning staff too many hours
  • Not providing means to manage employee stress

In turn, these conditions could cause elder care facilities to rely too heavily on the use of physical restraints which can prove dangerous. Among other issues, patients who are restrained often lose muscle strength, mobility, and bone mass.

They may also suffer from constipation or incontinence caused by their inability to move adequately, and they have an increased likelihood of bed sores, infection, and potentially even strangulation.

How A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help

If you have noticed signs of abuse, neglect or exploitation in connection with a loved one in a nursing home, do not wait for the problems to escalate. Contact an experienced Greenville nursing home abuse attorney to find out the best way to protect the patient from additional suffering.

In addition, an attorney with experience handling nursing home cases in Greenville will be able to evaluate the situation to determine whether the patient or another family member might be entitled to recover damages to cover the costs of medical bills and compensate for pain and suffering.