Personal injury lawyers are increasingly seeing nursing home abuse cases walk into their office. Many people try like crazy to avoid putting their loved ones in nursing homes. Usually, it is guilt or simply the pain of not having someone they love around.
It is also a fear that the nursing home might kill them. It is a real fear in almost every state in this county. Which, is exactly what happened in this case.
This case involved a former University of South Carolina football coach and athletic director. His family sent him to a nursing home in Columbia called Rice Estate for what was intended to be a short stay. His wife needed a break from the rigors of watching him because he had Alzheimer’s disease. Ten days later, he was dead.
His family wanted to sue, putting several defendants on notice pursuant to South Carolina law of the intent to file a claim. The allegation was that he was essentially euthanized without anyone’s consent. The family attorney says, “We believe his death was hastened…. Doctors can’t play God. ”
According to the intention to bring a claim, the coach was fine and requesting to go home the first two days he was there. On the third day, a doctor allegedly made the call to cut off his diabetes and blood pressure medication. Instead, the doctor ordered morphine.
The Bigger Picture
Regardless of what the real facts are in this case, the reality is that a lot more people should probably be in a nursing home but are not because people fear what will happen. This tragedy happened to a guy who has a $10 million estate. Joe Average has even less of a chance of getting quality care.
So people are left with that Catch 22. Try to care for the one they love at home even though they don’t have the resources or the manpower to do it. It is a brutal choice. People hear these horror stories about what they can expect in a nursing homes. In one extreme case a couple killed themselves because they feared going into a nursing home.
We need to do a better job in our nursing homes in this country. I’m convinced this is the child safety belt issue of the 2030 and 2040. How did we treat our seniors that way back in 2014? But we need to speed things up so tomorrow gets here a lot faster. Because too many people are truly suffering.