Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Conyers
Has your loved one been behaving strangely when you visit him or her in the nursing home? If you observe emotional or behavioral changes—especially a tendency to be withdrawn, fearful behavior or crying, this may be cause for concern. Furthermore, do you see any infected bed sores or bruises on him or her? If so, you should be extremely concerned. Your vulnerable loved one may have been the victim of a serious form of abuse or neglect. Do not ignore the warning signs. Do not ignore any general uneasiness or bad feelings that you might have in the pit of your stomach. You need to take action to protect your loved one.
Elder neglect, or nursing home negligence, can come in the form of physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse. 1 in 10 people are abused or neglected each year. Unfortunately, since many residents suffer from memory loss and/or dementia, some of these abusive behaviors are challenging to prove, especially when the elder resident doesn’t have the ability to communicate.
At MG Law, our compassionate Conyers, GA nursing home abuse attorneys have extensive experience protecting the legal rights and financial interests of nursing home residents. If you believe that your vulnerable loved one has been the victim of neglect or abuse in a Georgia assisted living facility, our legal team is here to help. Please contact our law firm today to get immediate legal guidance.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect is a True National Epidemic
Nursing home abuse and neglect are major problems in the state of Georgia and throughout the country. It is difficult for researchers to get a gauge on the full scope of this safety issue. We do know that the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has reported that 10 percent of all residents of assisted living centers tell authorities that they have been the victim of abuse or neglect.
Though, that data from the NCEA comes with a major caveat: the organization explicitly states that the actual percentage of victims is undoubtedly much larger. This is because elder abuse and neglect is substantially underreported. For reference, the Center for Aging Research and Clinic Care conducted a study on 2,100 nursing home patients, finding that nearly 1 in 4 was a victim of abuse or neglect.
The problem of nursing home abuse and neglect in Georgia cannot be taken lightly. There are serious risks. According to a survey conducted by The National Center on Elder Abuse, elders who experienced abuse had a 300% higher risk of death than those who had not. However, abuse is rarely reported to the police, often because residents fear retaliation. It is clear that we all need to do more to protect the health and safety of our most vulnerable loved ones.
Nursing Home Residents Have Important Legal Rights
It is important that all people in Georgia understand that nursing home residents have extremely important legal rights. In our state, healthcare facilities, including nursing homes, are licensed and regulated by the Georgia Department of Community Health. These facilities have legal duties to protect the rights and the safety of their residents. Nursing home patients are also directly protected by both state and federal laws. This includes Georgia’s Long Term Care Facilities: Residents’ Bill of Rights and the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act. Under these laws, vulnerable residents of assisted living centers have many rights, including the following:
- The ability to live free from abuse, exploitation, or discrimination;
- Full information pertaining to their living situation;
- When possible, participation in medical decisions;
- File complaints without worrying about, or facing, retribution;
- Reasonable privacy rights; and
- The ability to be treated with basic dignity and respect.
Physical, Emotional and Psychological Elder Abuse are All Major Problems
One of the things that make nursing home abuse and neglect cases especially challenging is that is can often be difficult to know whether or not your loved one has been a victim. Abuse and neglect comes in many different forms; and sadly, a vulnerable person could be abused in a manner that is difficult for people outside of the facility to see. In some cases, residents face serious forms of physical abuse. Physical abuse can manifest itself in a number of injuries, and the skin of elders is often more susceptible to bruising, infection and scarring. It can also include deprivation of food, water and basic care, including medications and treatments. In other cases, nursing home residents face horrible emotional and psychological mistreatment. This can manifest itself in many different ways, including: verbal threats, manipulation, isolation from other residents, mocking the resident in front of others, and ignoring or otherwise neglecting the resident for long periods of time.
Regardless of the specific circumstances, abuse and neglect are completely unacceptable. This type of mistreatment is immoral and illegal. Emotional abuse can be committed by staff members of a nursing home, as well as volunteers and family members of the residents themselves. Unfortunately, caregivers in nursing homes hold power over the elderly residents as they are responsible for their daily care. Consequently, residents might fear that revealing abuse will lead to a lack of care. Because it is difficult for residents to have a voice, their friends and family members need to be ready to speak up for them. If you have a loved one who is currently in an assisted living facility, you need to be sure that they are receiving proper treatment.
Know the Signs and Symptom of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Family members should have a general awareness of the common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. It is worth mentioning that many of the common warnings signs of mistreatment are also signs of other medical issues. For this reason, among other reasons, it can be difficult to determine whether or not abuse or neglect is occurring. This makes it all the more important that family members follow up on any suspicions that there is a problem. Signs of elder neglect can include:
- Unexplained injuries;
- Poor hygiene;
- Unsanitary living conditions;
- Unusual mood swings;
- Lack of nutrition;
- Sudden depression;
- Withdrawn behavior from previously personable individuals;
- Rocking or teeth grinding; and
- A general unwillingness to speak about daily life
Family members should regularly check in on elderly relatives so that behavioral changes will be evident from visits. If your loved one is found to be a victim of abuse, he or she should be removed from the nursing home immediately.
Compensation Available to Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Victims
Victims of nursing home abuse or neglect or entitled to financial compensation for the full extent of their damages. This potentially includes financial relief for both monetary losses as well as intangible losses. Unfortunately, negligent assisted living centers and their insurance companies are rarely willing to offer victims the full and fair compensation that is deserved. Our Conyers, GA nursing home abuse lawyers help victims and their families hold negligent facilities legally accountable for misconduct. Depending on the facts of the specific nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect case, a victim may be entitled to recover:
- Any costs related to relocation to a new nursing home;
- Other incidental monetary damages;
- Money for all related medical expenses;
- Compensation for pain and suffering and emotional distress;
- Wrongful death damages; and
- Punitive damages.
The bottom line is simple: Negligent Georgia assisted living facilities should be held legally liable for the full extent of the damage that they have caused. The Conyers, GA nursing home abuse attorneys at MG Law will help get justice for you and your family.
Contact Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in Conyers Today
At MG Law, we are prepared to do everything we can to get to the bottom of your nursing home neglect case, to get you and your family the compensation you need. While neglect might seem challenging for you to prove, we at MG Law are up to the challenge, not simply because we excel at our jobs, but because your loved ones’ safety is paramount to us. Please do not ignore the warning signs.
If you suspect that your vulnerable family member has been the victim of a nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect in Conyers, GA, please contact our top rated nursing home abuse attorneys today at (770) 766-1636. We offer free, fully confidential legal consultations. With offices in Conyers, Covington, and Atlanta, we represent nursing home abuse victims throughout the region, including in Rockdale County, Newtown County, Clayton County, Henry County, Dekalb County, and Fulton County.