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When a loved one moves into a nursing home, families trust that they will receive the care and support they need to thrive. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse are all too common and can have devastating consequences for residents and their families. As Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers, we are dedicated to holding nursing homes accountable for their failures to provide adequate care to residents.
What are the signs of nursing home neglect?
It is essential to recognize the signs of neglect and abuse to protect your loved ones from harm. Some signs of neglect include bedsores, falls, constipation that leads to surgery, diabetes medication errors that lead to complications, falls and wrongful death. Some signs of abuse include bruises, broken bones, restraint marks, unexplained death and sexually transmitted infections.
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care reported that nursing home neglect is a widespread problem, with over 50% of nursing home staff admitting to mistreating older patients.
How can I report nursing home neglect?
If you suspect your loved one is experiencing neglect or abuse in a nursing home, it is crucial to report it immediately to the Georgia Department of Community Health. You can file a complaint with the Healthcare Facility Regulation Division by calling 1-800-878-6442. When reporting, provide as much specific information as possible, including the resident’s name and room number, the date and time of the incident, and any witnesses to the neglect or abuse.
What should I do if I suspect nursing home neglect or wrongful death?
If you suspect nursing home neglect or wrongful death, you should take action immediately. Contact an experienced Atlanta nursing home neglect attorney to discuss your case. Your attorney can investigate your claim, collect evidence, and determine if you have a valid case. If you do, your attorney can help you file a lawsuit and hold the nursing home accountable for their actions.
Preventing Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
To prevent nursing home neglect and abuse, it is essential to choose a reputable and trustworthy nursing home. Research nursing homes before selecting one and read online reviews. Also, consider visiting the nursing home to evaluate its cleanliness and staff responsiveness to residents.
Medicare.gov offers a tool called “Medicare Compare” that can be used to evaluate the quality of nursing homes. Here are the steps to use this tool:
- Go to the Medicare.gov website and click on the “Find care” tab.
- Select “Nursing homes” from the dropdown menu.. You can also see the nursing home’s health inspection report, staffing levels, and quality measures. These reports can help you evaluate the nursing home’s performance in these areas.
- Take note of any red flags, such as poor ratings for health inspections or staffing levels, and consider these when making your decision.
You can also help prevent neglect and abuse by visiting your loved one frequently and at different times of the day, including evenings and weekends. By doing so, you can monitor your loved one’s care and be more likely to detect any signs of neglect or abuse.
What is the Most Common Nursing Home Abuse?
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, approximately one in ten Americans aged 60 or older have experienced some form of elder abuse. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care reported that nursing home neglect is a widespread problem, with over 50% of nursing home staff admitting to mistreating older patients. Neglect can have serious consequences, including malnutrition, dehydration, infections, pressure ulcers or bedsores, falls and fractures, medication errors and other serious health problems including death. Visit our Video Blog for More specific examples.
One example of nursing home neglect was reported by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which found that a nursing home in Georgia was understaffed and failed to provide adequate care to residents. The investigation found that residents were left lying in their own waste for extended periods of time, were not turned regularly to prevent bedsores, and were not given medication as prescribed. This is just one of many examples of nursing home neglect that occur across the country.
What is the statute of limitations for nursing home neglect cases in Georgia?
The statute of limitations for nursing home neglect cases in Georgia is two years from the date the injury was discovered or should have been discovered. This means that if you or your loved one suffered from nursing home neglect, you have two years from the date of discovery to file a lawsuit against the nursing home.
What is the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in Georgia?
The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in Georgia is also two years. However, the clock starts ticking on the day of the individual’s death. This means that if your loved one died as a result of nursing home neglect, you have two years from the date of their death to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home.
Can I sue a Nursing Home for Neglect in Georgia?
If you suspect nursing home neglect in Georgia, you have legal options available to you. The first step is to report the neglect to the Georgia Department of Community Health’s Healthcare Facility Regulation (HFR). The HFR is responsible for regulating and licensing nursing homes in Georgia, and they investigate allegations of neglect.
If the HFR investigation reveals that neglect has occurred, they can issue a citation or even revoke the nursing home’s license.
However, the agency cannot award you or your loved damages for pain and suffering. As a Georgia Nursing Home Attorney, we can file a lawsuit against the nursing home for neglect. According to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for nursing homes, neglect is defined as the failure of a facility or caregiver to provide goods and services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or emotional distress to a resident. The Georgia Nursing Home Resident’s Bill of Rights outlines the rights of nursing home residents, including the right to be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and the right to receive adequate care and treatment. The state also requires nursing homes to provide a minimum standard of care to residents, which includes access to medical care, adequate nutrition and hydration, and assistance with activities of daily living.
Georgia law allows victims of nursing home neglect to sue for damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. To win a nursing home neglect lawsuit in Georgia, the victim must prove that:
- The nursing home had a duty to provide care to the victim
- The nursing home breached that duty by failing to provide adequate care
- The victim suffered injuries or harm as a result of the nursing home’s breach of duty
Nursing home neglect and abuse are widespread problems that can have devastating consequences for residents and their families. It is essential to recognize the signs of neglect and abuse and report it immediately to the Georgia Department of Community Health. To prevent neglect and abuse, research nursing homes before selecting one, and visit your loved one frequently to monitor their care.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 1.7 million licensed nursing home beds in the United States in 2019. In that same year, the CDC reported that there were 15,600 nursing homes in the United States with over 1.3 million residents.
In terms of incidents of nursing home neglect, the Georgia Department of Community Health reported receiving 1,579 complaints of nursing home neglect in 2020 alone. Additionally, the Medicare.gov Nursing Home Compare database reported that out of 358 nursing homes in Georgia, 96 received a rating of one out of five stars for overall quality of care.
These statistics and regulations highlight the importance of recognizing and addressing nursing home neglect and abuse, as well as the need for families to hold nursing homes accountable for providing adequate care to their residents.
In conclusion, if you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse in Georgia, our team of Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers is here to help. We are well-versed in Georgia’s regulations and can help you navigate the complex legal system to seek justice and compensation. Contact us today for a consultation, and we will work tirelessly to help you and your loved ones get the justice and compensation you deserve.
About the Author
Sanga Turnbull is a personal injury attorney and the founder of Turnbull Law Firm, based in Florida with offices in Atlanta Georgia. With over 20 years of experience, Sanga has a proven track record of success in representing clients in nursing home abuse and neglect cases, as well as other personal injury matters. He represented nursing homes and assisted living facilities for five years before he began representing only families. He is passionate about holding negligent parties accountable and fighting for the rights of his clients. Sanga is a member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, and the National Trial Lawyers Association. He is dedicated to providing personalized and compassionate representation to every client he serves.
Call 678.941.0000 today to speak with an experienced Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer who proudly serves Atlanta, Fulton County, and surrounding Central Georgia areas.