It’s a sad reality that many elderly residents of nursing homes, hospices, and extended care facilities are exposed to neglect or abuse by malicious or poorly-trained employees or contractors. But an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can help.

Even the most attentive families feel powerless to stop this abuse because they rarely see it happening in person. But if families pay attention to the signs of abuse and neglect, they can often save their loved one from continued suffering.

In this video, Page Pate explains how our firm can help a family when they think a loved one may be the victim of abuse or neglect at a nursing home or extended care facility.

Types of injuries suffered by nursing home residents who have been abused or neglected

Some of the most common, and preventable, injuries resulting from nursing home neglect and abuse include:

  • Death due to neglect from the staff, such as the recent case where a World War II veteran died while the nursing home staff ignored his pleas for help
  • Aggravated medical conditions due to a failure to adequately treat pre-existing illnesses
  • Physical injuries relating to a lack of supervision or responsiveness, such as when a resident falls unnecessarily
  • Malnutrition and severe dehydration
  • Allergic or medical reactions to being given the wrong food or medicine
  • Poor hygiene from a lack of care, which can cause bedsores and other diseases
  • Injuries from physical, sexual, and emotional/verbal abuse from nursing home employees
  • Financial exploitation, such as when an employee manipulates a resident into giving them access to their money or assets

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled elder abuse “a significant public health problem,” and reports that hundreds of thousands of adults over 60 are abused, neglected, or exploited each year.

If a family member is the victim of abuse or neglect, it is very important to report the neglect or abuse to the proper authorities. In Georgia, you should consider filing a report with the Georgia Department of Community Health, Division of Healthcare Facility Regulation and the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services. Georgia’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program investigates problems and complaints in nursing homes across the state.

Of course, an experience nursing home abuse lawyer can assist you in this process and help make sure the particular facility is held legally accountable.

The warning signs of nursing home abuse or neglect

Family members should be aware of the common warning signs that a loved one may be the victim of abuse or neglect at a nursing home or other extended care facility.

The most common warning signs include:

  • Emotional withdrawal or other changes in temperament and personality
  • Changes in appearance or personal hygiene
  • Rapid weight loss or signs of dehydration
  • Cuts, bruises, or signs of physical abuse
  • Silence or signs of being afraid around certain nursing home staff or other residents
  • Unexplained changes in your loved one’s will or power of attorney, which can indicate financial exploitation by a nursing home employee

Is the nursing home responsible for neglect or abuse caused by the staff or other patients?

Yes. Under Georgia law you have the right to demand justice from a nursing home when its staff causes an injury to, or fails to adequately take care of, your loved one.

Residents of nursing homes in Georgia are also protected by a “Bill of Rights” which requires nursing homes in the state to provide a certain standard of treatment, prohibits them from unfairly restricting a resident’s freedom, and outlaws abusing or threatening nursing home residents. Elder abuse and neglect is also a crime in Georgia.

Some of the ways a nursing home or extended care facility may be held liable for neglect or abuse of an elderly resident include:

  • Negligent hiring and inadequate training, which can result in the nursing home hiring someone with a criminal record or history of abuse
  • Understaffing, an unfortunately common problem in many nursing homes which makes it difficult for employees to monitor and care for the residents
  • Failing to report or discipline an employee who abuses or neglects residents
  • Lack of funding, which can lead a nursing home to cut corners in providing residents with their dietary and medical needs
  • Lack of organization, which can lead to residents receiving the wrong medication or food they may be allergic to
  • Failing to meet medical, hygienic, and dietary standards set by the state, which can injure residents in a variety of ways

Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer experienced in serious cases.

If you have any questions about your family’s legal rights when a loved one has been injured or abused at a nursing home or extended care facility in Georgia, call us now for a free and consultation with one of our attorneys. We have offices in Atlanta and Brunswick, Georgia, and a satellite office in Washington, D.C.

Not satisfied with your current personal injury attorney? You have a right to a new lawyer at no additional cost to you.  Find out how easy it is to switch to our firm.

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