Nursing Home Lawyer Atlanta, GA
A nursing home lawyer, Atlanta, GA trusts from The Lynch Law Group knows that when you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected at a nursing home, you need to act quickly to remove them from that situation. Instead of hoping that situation resolves on its own, our lawyers know that the best thing you can do is to protect your loved one. We firmly believe that elderly people in nursing homes should get the respect and care they deserve, but we have seen many situations where they do not.
You may feel that this burden falls squarely on your shoulders to ensure that your family member is protected. However, we are here to help you and let you know that you are not alone. For assistance, contact our law firm as soon as possible.
I’m not sure what abuse can look like. What are some examples?
You may be hesitant to do anything because you are unsure whether your family member is being abused. If they do not have obvious signs of physical abuse, you may be overreacting, right? Wrong. We have seen abuse come in many different forms. Below, we will outline a few of the ways that abuse can present so that you can be aware of the signs.
- Your loved one seems scared of others at the nursing home.
- Your loved one’s finances are moved around in a way that is out of the ordinary.
- Your loved one suddenly makes a change to their will, naming someone from the nursing home in it.
- Your loved one has bedsores.
- Your loved one is not getting the correct dosage of medication.
- Your loved one was injured because someone was not monitoring them.
- Your loved one shows signs of malnourishment/not getting their basic needs met.
In Atlanta, Georgia, our team wants you to know that abuse can be sneaky and not always obvious. You must speak with your loved one regularly to check for signs of abuse. We know that it can be stressful, and you may feel guilty if you discover your loved one has been abused. However, we are here to help right this wrong. If you would like to speak with a trusted lawyer from The Lynch Law Group, give us a call now.
Causes of Nursing Home Neglect
The mere thought of nursing home staff abusing residents is difficult to imagine. However, it happens more than you might like to think. Here are the most common reasons for nursing home abuse:
- Understaffing: It is very difficult for nursing home residents to receive the care they need if there’s not enough staff. They may be forced to prioritize certain needs of residents over others. As a result, some residents might not get their medication on time or get proper nutrition.
- Underpaid Staff: If nursing home staff members aren’t compensated fairly, they may lack the motivation to provide a certain standard of care. They won’t go above and beyond, so many residents won’t get the care they deserve. These staff members might believe that they’re not paid enough to do a good job. After a while, this can lead to low morale, which can establish an environment of accepting low care standards.
- Undertrained Staff: Nursing home staff members should receive adequate training before working residents. Unfortunately, some nursing home facilities don’t take the time to train their staff properly. Without proper training, staff members won’t know how to provide residents with proper care. They might not know how to care for residents with certain illnesses and disabilities or lack knowledge about residents’ rights.
- Burnout: Some nursing home staff members work long hours every day and may eventually experience burnout. Unfortunately, the staff may take it out on residents. Instead of releasing their frustrations constructively, they may act abusively towards residents.
- Lack of Consequences: One of the main reasons nursing home abuse continues to go on is a lack of consequences. Even when abuse incidents are reported, local and state authorities might not investigate or punish those accused.
How a Nursing Home Lawyer Can Help
If your loved one suffered abuse at a nursing home, you should speak to a member of our team as soon as possible. During the initial consultation, your lawyer may want to find out about the circumstances surrounding the allegations of abuse and your family member’s mental and physical capacities.
If we believe that you have a strong case, he or she will bring a lawsuit against the nursing home facility and employees on time. Your lawyer will start the investigation process and gather evidence to support your case. He or she knows the true value of your case and will negotiate with the insurance company. With a skilled lawyer on your side, your loved one has a better chance of getting the justice he or she deserves.
Learning More About Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is something that no elderly patient should have to experience. Unfortunately, this can be the harsh reality for the aging population, who are among the most vulnerable age groups. While the Nursing Home Reform Act provides guidelines for regulating nursing homes and preventing mistreatment, abuse, and neglect is a very real occurrence. Depending upon the abuse that has occurred, unresolvable issues or concerns for safety should be acted upon immediately.
While there are specific steps that nursing homes can take to resolve the problems in the long run, in some cases, it may be critical to take immediate action to protect a loved one. This process may start with finding a safe place for your aging loved one to receive care, and contacting a lawyer from The Lynch Law Group for help.
The Nursing Home Reform Act
All residents living in nursing home facilities deserve to have quality care that supports their needs. As a person ages, they may become more dependent on others to have their basic needs met. In some cases, it may not be possible for an aging person to age in their home, and as a result, the safest way to have their medical, social, emotional, and physical health met could be through care from a nursing home. Our Atlanta, Georgia nursing home lawyer shares that The Nursing Home Reform Act is in place to ensure that residents of nursing homes receive the care they are entitled to by providing the following:
- Nursing support services
- Rehabilitation programs
- Larger nursing homes should have a social worker
- Pharmaceutical services
- Individualized plans of care
Additionally, the Nursing Home Reform Act provides patients with a bill of rights that gives them a right to:
- Live in a safe environment
- Live without fear
- Voice grievances without fear of retaliation
- Be informed of changes to their plan of care
- Social contact
To receive funding from Medicaid or Medicare, nursing homes must meet regulations under the NHRA. While these regulations are in place to protect residents, many nursing homes still fail to meet the expected standards, putting nursing home residents at significant risk.
How Family Members Can Stay Involved
Nursing home mistreatment is actually more common than many people think. Of course, we never want to imagine that our senior loved one is being mistreated in an elder care facility, but it does happen. One of the best things family members can do to safeguard against such incidents is to visit their relatives frequently, place them into a facility with a positive record, and stay involved in their care consistently. Seniors who have serious health conditions or diabilities are increasingly vulnerable to maltreatment, especially if they are unable to vocalize what is happening.
Research shows that senior citizens are much more likely to face abuse or neglect within a nursing home compared to those who live in their own residence. This mistreatment can have tragic physical and emotional impacts on the elderly person. Those who are inflicting this mistreatment must be held accountable for their actions. Trust us when we say that our team is experienced, prepared, and can be relentless when it comes to protecting senior loved ones. We will have you and your loved one’s best of interest in mind the entire way through. We can help you take the steps necessary to ensure their safety while also gathering evidence to file a lawsuit against the offenders.
Types of Nursing Home Mistreatment
Injuries that develop due to abuse or neglect can be physical, sexual, and emotional, or entail financial exploitation. Common forms of senior mistreatment can occur in long-term care settings, assisted living, and nursing homes. Examples of injuries can include but are not limited to the following:
- Being deprived of water or food
- Unreasonable use of restraints (physical or chemical)
- Being force fed
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, or scratches
- Anxiety, depression, PTSD, or mood outbursts
- Cognitive impairments such as disorientation or confusion (as a result of head injuries or being heavily medicated)
- Improper medical care for current health issues
- Conditions that are unsanitary, that may lead to bedsores or infections
- Physical harm of shoving, shaking, slapping, or kicking
- Isolating from friends, family, or other residents when they wish to socialize
- Accidents that could have been avoided by addressing hazards in the environment or ensuring adequate staffing at all times
We understand that sometimes it can be difficult to know for sure whether your relative is suffering from nursing home abuse. Your loved one may be nervous to tell you about what is happening, or the staff claims it is your relative that is causing the problems. What we can do is investigate to see if there are signs of mistreatment. As an experienced team who is familiar with these sensitive cases, we know what to look for. If you feel like something is not right, then it probably isn’t. Call The Lynch Law Group right now for immediate advice on what to do from here.
Filing a Nursing Home Complaint
There are several reasons to consider filing a complaint with the Division of Healthcare Facility Regulation. If you or a loved one either suspects or has experienced abuse or neglect in a nursing home, it may be in your best interest to file a complaint. While you certainly can report your concerns to nursing home administration, the problem may involve nursing home mismanagement in many situations.
Be aware that you have the right to file the complaint anonymously if you choose. However, should you choose to remain anonymous, you will not receive information regarding the investigation outcome.
Overworked, exhausted, underpaid, and burnt-out staff are just a few of the reasons nursing home residents may succumb to abuse. Many problems may present themselves. As a family member of a loved one or a nursing home resident, you may suspect abuse or neglect. If you do, it’s critical to take action immediately to ensure that your loved one is protected. In some cases, the abuse may result in certain damages, especially if physical injuries result.
Medical care will be critical, but the damage that has been done can be devastating in some cases. If nursing home abuse is suspected, taking action to prevent further harm will be incredibly important. In some cases, it may be necessary to ensure that your loved one receives proper medical care and is removed from the dangerous situation.
When damages have resulted, you must take immediate action with the assistance of The Lynch Law Group.. To learn more about the services we provide, contact our Atlanta nursing home lawyer in GA as soon as possible.