A nursing home lawyer Atlanta, GA trusts from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. 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. To speak with a nursing home lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia, please call us now.
I’m not sure what abuse can look like. What are some examples?
You may be hesitant to do anything because you are unsure of whether or not your family member is being abused. If they do not have obvious signs of physical abuse, you may be overreacting, right? Wrong. Our Atlanta, GA nursing home lawyer has 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.
Our nursing home lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia wants you to know that abuse can be sneaky and not always obvious. It is important that you 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 Atlanta nursing home lawyer from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C., 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 a nursing home lawyer in Atlanta, GA sees.
- 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 standards of care.
- Undertrained Staff: Nursing home staff members should receive adequate training before working residents. However, as a nursing home lawyer in Atlanta, GA can confirm, some nursing home facilities don’t take the time to properly train their staff. 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 the rights of residents.
- Burnout: Some nursing home staff members work long hours every day and may eventually experience burnout. Unfortunately, as a nursing home lawyer in Atlanta, GA can attest, they may take it out on residents. Instead of releasing their frustrations in a constructive manner, 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 incidents of abuse 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 nursing home lawyer in Atlanta, GA 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 a nursing home lawyer in Atlanta, GA believes that you have a strong case, he or she will bring a lawsuit against the nursing home facility and employees in a timely manner. 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.
Nursing Home Abuse Often Goes Unreported – Be Aware of the Signs
For many of us, taking care of older loved ones and family members is a part of life. Unfortunately, busy schedules often prevent us from providing the amount of attention they need, while their medical condition may make being in a nursing home or long-term care facility more practical. In these situations, it is important to be alert to any signs that elder abuse or neglect is occurring and then contact a nursing home lawyer Atlanta, GA families trust. Multiple studies and investigations indicate that incidents of abuse occur more commonly than most people think and often end up going unreported by the victims and the nursing home administrators involved.
Elder Abuse and Nursing Home Neglect
According to a 2017 investigative report by National Public Radio (NPR), elder abuse and nursing home neglect may be far more rampant than statistics would have us believe. The report states that as many as one-quarter of all cases in which those over the age of 65 are abused or neglected by their caregivers are not reported to police, even though it is required under both state and federal laws. These cases are not minor incidents, but rather involve serious allegations in which victims suffered potentially life-threatening injuries.
In 2019, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) newspaper investigated nursing home abuse and neglect throughout the state of Georgia. The investigation exposed 600 cases of neglect and 90 cases of abuse that had occurred during the prior four years at 400 assisted living facilities.
Signs of Elder Abuse
An Atlanta, GA nursing home lawyer knows that elder abuse can take many forms. It may involve physical violence, threats, or sexual assault, all of which can leave the victim depressed, withdrawn, and fearful of speaking out. In some situations, it may involve financial fraud or theft, which victims are often ashamed to admit or unaware that it has occurred. In still other cases, abuse is in the form of neglect, where nursing home residents fail to get the proper medical care, feeding, and attention they need and deserve.
Anytime you have an older loved one being provided with care from others you need to be vigilant, this is even more so the case in situations where the person suffers dementia or other conditions that impair their ability to communicate.
- Signs to look for that may indicate abuse is occurring include:
- The presence of unexplained injuries or medical conditions
- Signs that your loved one is fearful, intimidated, or angry at a specific caregiver
- Having an unkempt appearance during visits and unexplained weight loss
- Being withdrawn and not wanting to engage in activities they previously enjoyed
Let Us Help You Today
At Andrew R. Lynch, P.C, we take allegations of elder abuse seriously. We can help put a stop to it while holding guilty parties accountable. If you suspect a loved one is being abused, contact our office to meet with a dedicated Atlanta, GA nursing home lawyer and find out what legal recourse your family may have.