No one ever wants to have to make the difficult decision to place their parent in a nursing home. Sometimes though, when an elder suffers from a medical condition and needs round-the-clock care, there is no other choice. Many people struggle with this decision because of course, everyone wants their loved one to receive only the highest quality of care.
Sadly, that does not always happen. Neglect and abuse is all too common in nursing homes in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. If your parent is in a nursing home, it is important to know the signs of nursing home abuse, and what to do if you suspect it is occurring.
Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home residents are not always willing or able to come forward and report abuse. For this reason, it is critical that you know the signs to look for so you can detect abuse or neglect as soon as possible. Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Sudden and unexpected weight loss, which could indicate malnutrition
- Dry, chapped lips or excessively dry skin, which could indicate dehydration
- Pressure ulcers, commonly known as bedsores, which is common when residents are not moved often enough
- Sudden and unexpected changes in behavior, such as an elder that suddenly becomes withdrawn
- Signs of unclean premises, including unchanged sheets, slippery floors, or inadequate lighting
- Unpleasant odors, which may indicate residents are not bathed or groomed properly
Unfortunately, the above are just a few of the most common signs of nursing home abuse. Most importantly, you must trust your instincts. If something seems “off” about your parent, or you just do not feel right about something, it is probably worth investigating to determine if abuse and neglect is occurring.
What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you do suspect nursing home abuse, you must take action immediately. You may want to call the police, particularly if you believe your parent is in danger. You might have to remove your parent from the facility and if so, the police can ensure this goes smoothly. The police may even be able to point you towards resources that could provide your parent with a new place to live.
Next, you should get your parent the medical attention they need. If they have been abused or neglected, their well-being has been put at risk. Making sure they are healthy, or that they get treatment they need, is the first priority after removing them from the facility.
Once your parent is safe, you should then report the abuse. You can do this on the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services website. After filing a complaint, the agency will conduct an investigation, which is an important step to ensure no one else suffers from abuse in the future.
Filing A Nursing Home Abuse Claim
Your parent has a right to file a nursing home abuse claim to recover damages, or financial compensation, for any harm they have suffered. You can also file a claim on your parent’s behalf if they do not have the capacity to do so.
Before filing a claim, it is critical to speak to an Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer. You will have to prove the facts of your case, and that your parent was abused, and this is sometimes very difficult. The nursing home may also not cooperate, which only makes matters more complex. A lawyer will help you through every step of your claim, including reporting the nursing home. A lawyer will also conduct an investigation to prove fault so your loved one claims the full damages they deserve.
It is important to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after learning of the abuse. In Atlanta, as throughout the rest of Georgia, you typically only have two years to file a claim. If you do not file your claim within this time period, you will lose your right to claim any damages at all. Keep in mind that your case does not have to be finalized within two years, it is only the amount of time you have to file the lawsuit.
Call Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer In Atlanta Today
Learning that your parent is being abused is never easy, but an Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer can help. At MG Law, our skilled attorneys can help you through this difficult time, and ensure you receive the maximum damages you deserve. Call us today at 404-982-4219 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.