Do you suspect your elderly loved one is experiencing abuse or neglect from staff members at a care facility?
Let our Georgia attorneys help you spot the warning signs and take legal action.
310 Margie Dr
Warner Robins, GA 31099
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Georgia lawyers helping nursing home residents near Warner Robins for over 50 years
Making the decision to put your loved one in a nursing home can be excruciatingly difficult. You want them to be happy and healthy, but unfortunately you don’t have the time or ability to provide the round-the-clock care they need. It’s important to realize that you’re not alone in this tough decision. In fact, the number of Americans 60 years or older who live in nursing homes has climbed to 1.3 million.
Unfortunately, stories of nursing home abuse and neglect are far too common, making this decision even more difficult. The last thing you want is to trust the care of your loved one to a facility that will take advantage of them and fail to provide the care they need.
While many elderly care facilities provide compassionate and attentive 24/7 care to nursing home residents, the ugly truth is that some facilities have earned a bad reputation for hiring incompetent staff and engaging in neglectful practices. It is estimated that at least 10 percent of Americans living in nursing homes are victims of nursing home abuse, which doesn’t include those cases that go unreported.
If you notice any signs of neglect or abuse from your loved one or another resident at a nursing home, you should report them right away. Then, it’s time to contact a top-notch personal injury lawyer who will fight on behalf of you and your loved one. At the law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson, we treat you like family and we’ll passionately fight for your loved one with all we’ve got so that you don’t have to settle for anything less than you deserve.
Don’t take chances. Deal with someone local who will handle your case personally.
Types of nursing home abuse
Our attorneys can help you spot the warning signs of these and other common types of abuse that occur in elderly care facilities:
- Neglect. An act of negligence within a nursing home or assisted living facility occurs when there is a failure to take care of the basic needs of the resident, and it’s often the result of carelessness, improper training or indifference. Examples of neglect include leaving a resident or client unattended for long periods of time, failing to give baths or assisted cleaning, not cleaning their room, and failing to ensure the security and safety of all residents (including from other residents).
- Physical abuse. The intentional act of harming another individual by grabbing their arm, pushing, kicking, biting, hitting, slapping, restraining, or using an object to cause harm can be considered physical abuse. While this type of abuse is more likely to occur among residents with cognitive disorders, it can happen to anyone in a nursing home. Unexplained bruises, cuts and sores are possible signs that physical abuse may be occurring.
- Emotional abuse. Shouting at a resident, calling them names, insulting them, isolating them from family and friends, making verbal threats, and restricting modes of communication are all considered examples of emotional and psychological abuse. These behaviors can have long-term, and often devastating, effects on the resident. If your loved one appears depressed, anxious or behaves unusually around staff members, this may be signs of emotional abuse.
- Sexual abuse. Most Americans don’t consider that their elderly loved one can be sexually abused in a nursing home, but sadly the statistics show that this type of exploitation is common. Any kind of sexual behavior — intercourse, oral, or unwanted touching and groping — without the consent or knowledge of the resident is considered sexual abuse and can lead to emotional and psychological trauma down the road.
- Financial abuse. Despite the fact 70 percent of Americans rely on Medicaid each year to pay for the costs of living in a nursing home, some administrators and staff members try to squeeze more money out of their residents for themselves. By not allowing residents access to their own funds, forging documents, using deception, and misusing the power of attorney, those who commit nursing home fraud sometimes get away with stealing millions of dollars a year.
What to do if you suspect nursing home abuse/neglect
If you suspect negligence or abuse within a nursing home (whether your loved one is being affected, or another resident), report it immediately to the local authorities as soon as possible. As soon as you see the signs, such as unexplained bruises, changed behavior or unusual financial activity, it is important to notify the right people.
Always call 911 if you see an elderly person in immediate danger or a life-threatening situation. To report signs of nursing home abuse to authorities in Georgia, contact local resources such as the Georgia Adult Protective Services and Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
Next, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer near you who can help prepare your personal injury case against a staff member or the care facility.
Who can be held liable for nursing home abuse?
Care facilities and staff members can be held liable for abuse or neglect if it can be proven that nursing home administrators or staff failed to:
- Protect residents from safety hazards
- Provide proper hygienic care
- Monitor staff members
- Hire qualified staff
- Notice that residents are being intentionally abused
Third parties can also be held responsible for actions against residents, such as an outside contractor who didn’t properly manufacture or maintain equipment. If a resident suffers from food poisoning during a catered event, the vendor could be held liable. There’s also the possibility of a visitor or trespasser harming the residents, in which case the nursing home might be responsible for failure to provide adequate security.
Georgia statute of limitations for nursing home abuse lawsuits
The sooner you see signs of abuse and report them to the proper authorities, the sooner you can file your case and receive justice — not just for you and your loved one, but for the hundreds of other nursing home residents in their care.
Schedule your FREE consultation with an experienced Warner Robins, GA nursing home abuse lawyer
When it comes to the wellbeing and safety of your loved one, cutting corners or intentionally causing harm or neglect is unacceptable. Unfortunately, it happens every year. If you or a loved one are a victim of nursing home abuse, you are entitled to seek legal advice and fight for compensation.
Our dedicated legal team doesn’t believe that you should have to settle for anything less than you deserve. We’d be happy to discuss your legal options, including the time and attention it will take for you to file a claim. Visit one of our three offices, conveniently located in Warner Robins, Macon, and Albany — or just pick up the phone and call us. Your first consultation is free.