When a person in South Carolina has an aging loved one who can no longer take care of his or her daily needs, the time may come for their loved one to enter a nursing home. Nursing homes can provide the health and personal care needs of residents, so that the residents can live comfortably. Unfortunately, many times nursing homes fail to uphold their duty of care toward residents and commit nursing home abuse. Therefore, when choosing a nursing home for a loved one, there are certain signs a person should look out for, to ensure the nursing home is safe.

First, it is important to note whether there are special care units for residents with dementia or other memory impairments. This can provide these residents with the supervision they need to be safe. In addition, nursing homes should have features such as handrails, handicap access and other means for keeping residents from becoming injured.

One should also note how many residents live in the nursing home and the number of staff members at the nursing home. An inadequately staffed nursing home means caregivers may cut corners or fail to meet residents’ needs due to an overburdened workload. Frequent staff changes can also indicate that there are staffing or management problems at the nursing home, which could lead to a poorer quality of care.

In addition, one should observe the residents at the nursing home. Do they look like they are being well cared for? Are there friendly and supportive interactions between residents and caregivers? Similarly, observe the premises. Are there bad odors? Does it look clean? In addition, it can help to make an unannounced visit at a different day and time than the initial visit. This way one may be able to spot problems that were covered up during the planned visit.

These are only some steps a person can take to try to ensure the nursing home they choose for their loved one is safe. However, even in the most scrupulous inspection of a nursing home, it is still possible that nursing home abuse occurs at that facility. Nursing home abuse should never be tolerated. If a loved one residing in a nursing home is showing signs of abuse, his or her family should take the steps necessary to legally address the issue, including pursuing a lawsuit if appropriate.