Though regulators, law enforcement, and government safety organizations may be aware of nursing home abuse and neglect in Georgia, this information may be hard to come by as a member of the general public. A September 30, 2019 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) revealed some extremely disturbing details about assisting living facilities in the state. Due to an inconsistent, disorganized system, transparency and accountability are outrageously lacking. In its own investigation, AJC found that one in five nursing homes possesses a history of egregious failures. Many more were guilty of isolated incidents that are equally troubling.
What this means for you, as the loved one of a resident, is that you must be diligent and aggressively vigilant in looking for the signs of misconduct. If you do observe any of the most common forms listed below, contact an Atlanta, GA nursing home abuse and neglect attorney who can tell you more about your rights.
Three Categories of Nursing Home Abuse: There are many specific types of intentional conduct against residents of care facilities, which is especially heartbreaking and despicable due to the vulnerable nature of the victim. Classifications include:
- Physical harm, such as assault, battery, and sexual attacks;
- Emotional distress, often through verbal abuse and degrading, offensive actions; and,
- Psychological abuse, which might come in the form of threats or withholding of food, exercise, companionship, or other services.
Nursing Home Neglect in Georgia: Acts of negligence may not seem to be as extreme as intentional abuse, but the effects can be just as tragic. Neglect in the nursing home setting is a failure to provide care in accordance with what’s reasonable under the circumstances. Understaffing is one factor that can lead to nursing home neglect, which you may recognize by such signs as:
- Unexplained falls or infections;
- Dirty linens, surfaces, and fixtures in resident living spaces;
- Filthy common areas;
- Signs of dehydration or malnutrition; and,
- Many other disturbing observations.
What to do About Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect: If you suspect misconduct, your first step should be consulting with an experienced lawyer, who can help you file a complaint with the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Aging. However, your attorney can also assist with seeking monetary damages for your losses. Victims may be able to recover for medical costs, pain, and suffering; you may also have rights through a wrongful death action if you lost a loved one because of nursing home abuse or neglect.
Bear in mind that Georgia’s statute of limitations is two years, which means time is of the essence in addressing your claim. If you don’t file a lawsuit before the statute expires, you’re forever barred from recovering monetary damages.
Discuss Legal Remedies with an Atlanta, GA Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer
If you have concerns about a loved one who may be suffering from misconduct in an assisted living center, please contact the Law Offices of Julie A. Rice right away. We can set up a no-cost consultation to review your circumstances and assist with next steps, including filing a claim for nursing home abuse and neglect.