What Should You Do If You See Warning Signs?

As the percentage of seniors in our society gets larger and larger, more and more people are being cared for in assisted living communities, rest homes, and nursing homes. The quality of care in these homes must be at a high level, because the medical issues facing their residents are as complex as they are numerous. Sadly, however, many nursing homes are staffed by an inadequate number of nursing assistants. Nursing staffs are frequently not given proper training, adequate supplies, or sufficient compensation. They work longer hours than they should. They aren’t given the tools they need to do their job. It is a disaster waiting to happen – and disasters are happening in many nursing homes and assisted living facilities all over our country. It is a silent epidemic.

Nursing home residents are a highly vulnerable population. Very often, the residents are relatively isolated, too, and this makes them an easy target for substandard care.

Warning signs include:

injuries requiring hospitalization or emergency treatment,
extreme weight loss,
repeated falls,
medication errors,
elder reports of abuse,
unexplained bruising,
pressure sores (decubitus ulcers), and
infections.

These are just some of the warning signs. There are many more.

So, what can you do? First and foremost, visit frequently. Visit on Sundays, on weekends and holidays, and at varying times of day. Second, talk to the Administrator, the Director of Nursing, the Doctor (Director of Medicine) and the nursing home’s Social Worker. Third, talk to the nursing staff. Fourth, talk to the ombudsman in your state. If your loved one was or is in a South Carolina nursing home, feel free to call me at (803) 808-9600, and I can provide you with the name and telephone number of the ombudsman assigned to the appropriate county.


If you have more questions, or if you would like to know your legal rights, feel free to call me at (803) 808-9600.