Most people are at their most vulnerable two times in their lives–at the beginning and at the end. We put our loved ones in nursing homes because they cannot care for themselves. In Atlanta, as our population ages, more and more of our loved ones find that nursing homes are the best alternative to medical and day-to-day care. Unfortunately, 91% of all nursing homes in Atlanta are understaffed, and with that comes the sad reality of nursing home abuse. More than one third of nursing homes have been cited for nursing home abuse. John Foy & Associates Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys take on these cases to compensate your loved one and we fight to make sure that it never happens again. Your loved one can’t fight this battle alone. Let our law firm fight for you. If you suspect nursing home abuse, call our attorneys at 404-400-4000. Someone will answer the phone, 24/7. We’ll keep the call confidential; our priority is to keep your loved one safe while we investigate your case. And just like in any personal injury claim, our fees come out of any settlement, not your pocket.
What is considered nursing home abuse in Atlanta, GA?
Nursing home abuse is a broad area, covering everything from neglect to downright malicious abuse. Here are some of the signs of abuse:
- Bedsores. Bedsores are 100 percent preventable and if your loved one has them, he or she is not getting proper care.
- Falls. Many nursing home patients needlessly fall. Look out for unexplained fractures.
- Malnutrition. No nursing home patient should be malnourished.
- Overmedication or mismanaged medications. Patients must be able to trust their caretakers to dispense medication properly.
- Sexual abuse. As sad as it is, sexual abuse does occur in nursing homes. No one should have sexual contact without consent at anytime in one’s life.
- Patient wandering or leaving the premises unsupervised.
- Resident to resident abuse. A nursing home takes in all kinds of people and sometimes that means bringing in a predator.
- Bullying by a staff member or other resident.
Why does nursing home abuse occur?
Much of the time, nursing home abuse occurs because a facility is mismanaged, understaffed or poorly staffed. Employees are typically not registered nurses; instead they are low-paid untrained workers. The result can be professional negligence and substandard care. In addition, staffs tend to have a high rate of turnover and add to all of this a growing demand for senior care. Says our firm founder, John Foy, “Ninety percent of nursing homes lack the staff for proper care.” “If you think something may be wrong, call us,” said founder Foy. No one should be subjected to abuse.
What are the causes of nursing home neglect and abuse?
There are many causes of nursing home neglect and abuse.
- Like any business, nursing homes can be mismanaged.
- Staffs tend to be underpaid and poorly trained.
- Patients often cannot speak for themselves so cases are unreported.
In fact, according to a university study, in abuse cases of people 60 and older, only one in 10 cases are ever reported.
What do you do if you suspect elder abuse in a nursing home?
The Georgia Department of Community Health regulates nursing homes. But before you bring a claim against a nursing home, call a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney at John Foy & Associates at 404-400-4000. You’re devastated for your loved one and you need a professional by your side. We know how to handle these cases. We want your loved one to be as comfortable as possible while we’re investigating the case. And because we’ve been an Atlanta law firm for more than 20 years we know the reputation of facilities in the area. We have statistics on abuse cases reported at state and local nursing homes. If you suspect elder abuse in a nursing home, document as much as you can. If there are bedsores or other injuries, take photographs. Write down any concerns you have. Usually if you suspect one nurse is being abusive, other staff may suspect as well. Our investigators will help find legitimate witnesses who are willing to discuss the abuse.
Why should someone dealing with nursing home abuse contact an attorney at John Foy & Associates? How does your firm approach a nursing home abuse case?
“We’re the experts, call us first,” says firm founder Foy. “We treat these cases very sensitively and confidentially.” John Foy & Associates approaches these cases very differently from other types of personal injury law because the victim is often still in a hurtful situation. We don’t make our legal proceedings public until we are done with our investigation and we know your loved one is safe. We won’t request medical information until we’re ready to act. Nursing home abuse requires tact, empathy and sympathy from your attorney’s firm. “Our goal is to make sure that nothing we do will impact your loved one’s safety or care while we’re investigating,” says Foy. We’ve been in Atlanta for more than 20 years and usually we know the facility with which you’re concerned. We have a lot of friends in the legal community. This is one time when we work with our legal competitors to share information because all of us are appalled by nursing home abuse. “We band together, we know a lot of people,” says firm founder Foy.
What can I do if my loved one had died in a nursing home and I suspect it’s from abuse or neglect?
Please call our attorneys at 404-400-4000 and we’ll start an investigation. You can sue a nursing home facility in what is called a wrongful death claim. We urge you to act quickly. We cannot bring your loved one back, but we can compensate the family and help prevent abuse from harming another person. As in any lawsuit, there are statutes of limitations on bringing these cases.
How do you report nursing home abuse in the state of Georgia?
Each of the 50 states, including Georgia, has laws surrounding elder abuse. Unfortunately, more must be done than pass laws. The U.S. General Accountability Office reports that during investigations 70 percent of states missed “significant deficiencies” and 15 percent did not see signs of actual abuse and danger. The state needs community partners to advocate and protect our elderly. Georgia has an anonymous hotline to report abuse, 1-866-55AGING (1-866-552-4464) and that line is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. John Foy & Associates is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 404-400-4000.
How can we stop nursing home abuse?
The National Center On Elder Abuse in Washington, D.C., reports that the patients most vulnerable to abuse are those who don’t get a lot of visitors. It’s important to visit your loved one and be an advocate for his or her care. There are many online resources with information including http://www.nursinghomeabuseguide.org