Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Serving Columbus : Georgia Nursing Home Laws
The process of evaluating a nursing home or similar residential care facility for your elderly loved one in Columbus can be an extremely difficult task. It is possible to research your choice by visiting websites to obtain reviews, inspection and safety violation records and even questionnaires that can be utilized when evaluating a nursing home. Even if you are extremely careful in the selection of a nursing home for your love one, there is still a possibility that your loved one may be the victim of intentional or negligent physical injury, medical malpractice, emotional or sexual abuse and chronic neglect.
At Montlick and Associates, our Columbus nursing home abuse attorneys investigate nursing home cases, we typically seek nursing home and government agency records related to violations of regulations and appropriate standards of care that may include evidence from prior mandated inspections. Understand the anxiety that seniors and their loved ones endure when Columbus nursing home facilities fail to abide by their contractual obligations to care for their residents. We are committed to holding nursing homes accountable for mistreatment of seniors and seeking compensation for elderly abuse and neglect victims. The compassionate and experienced Columbus nursing home attorneys at our law firm have been zealous advocate for seniors since our law firm was established in 1984.
In recent years, the media has been inundated with reports of cases of shocking abuse of seniors and chronic neglect resulting in staggering judgments and settlements. When your loved one is physically abused or denied basic care, they may have a right to seek compensation for the neglect or mistreatment. Nursing home neglect and elder abuse in residential facilities for seniors can take a variety of forms including:
- Failure to Provide Basic Needs: At a minimum, nursing home facilities are expected to provide residents with reasonably sanitary conditions, access to medical care and hygiene, nutrition/hydration, medication and similar basic necessities. When a Columbus nursing home denies residents access to such basic needs, a Columbus nursing home resident may have a legal claim for financial compensation.
- Sexual Abuse and Misconduct: Many seniors are unable to prevent sexual assaults or lack the capacity to consent to sexual activity. When seniors are sexually exploited by nursing home staff or sexually abused by other residents because of the lack of supervision, this may be a basis for imposing liability on a Columbus nursing home facility. This type of abuse may include inappropriate sexual assaults, rape, molestation, exposure to pornography or other forms of non-consensual sexual conduct.
- Financial Exploitation: When staff or management use or steal the money, property, assets or other financial resources of residents including bank accounts, real property, investment vehicles or similar financial assets, this may constitute financial abuse of a senior.
- Abandonment/Restraint: Columbus nursing homes that undertake the care of residents may neither abandon them or use physical or chemical restraint to avoid providing for their needs. Conduct like unjustified use of physical restraints, administering medications like sedatives or simply locking a resident in one’s room may constitute abuse or neglect.
- Physical Abuse: This involves physically manhandling elderly residents and causing physical injury.
- Emotional Abuse: This may include acts such as verbally berating or demeaning residents.
The increasing number of seniors that need assistance with their daily needs has outpaced the resources available for their care. Many private nursing homes operate with unreasonable staff to resident ratios or hire staff that have not been properly trained or screened. When overworked and stressed out staff members fail to provide a clean and safe environment, elderly residents can suffer painful and debilitating injuries. Because seniors heal more slowly, these injuries can result in long periods of incapacitation and a difficult course of rehabilitation.
While nursing home abuse and neglect will sometimes be obvious in the form of physical or mental deterioration of those entrusted to the care of a nursing home, it can sometimes be a challenge to distinguish age related medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia from the negative impact of abuse. Family members should be diligent about watching for signs of abuse which may include:
- Bedsores and unexplained bruises or other injuries
- Mental confusion
- Unexplained fractures
- Lack of hygiene (i.e. clothes that are soiled or smell of urine)
- Refusal to interact with family
- Changes in mood including depression or anxiety
While it is important to watch out for these signs, they also provide a clear picture of the problem of protecting seniors in Columbus nursing homes. Many of these signs can as easily be age related as evidence of abuse or neglect. The best way to protect your elderly loved one in a nursing home facility is to visit frequently, to remain attentive, to inquire about your loved one’s experience and to provide your loved one the opportunity to speak to you away from the facility. It is important to realize that nursing home neglect and abuse is common. Studies conducted reveal that as many as half of residents in nursing homes experience some form of abuse or neglect. This data is reinforced by surveys indicating that 80 percent of those that work in nursing homes admit to having witnessed some form of abuse or neglect of seniors.
Abuse and neglect of elderly residents in Columbus nursing homes is often the product of austerity measures designed to increase nursing home profits. Some common causes of elder abuse and neglect in Columbus nursing homes includes:
- Fatigued and stressed out staff who are overworked
- Underpaid and unqualified caregivers
- Inadequate staff to resident ratios
- Non-compliance with minimum industry standards of care or applicable safety standards
- Lack of background checks when hiring staff
- Failure to provide adequate training to new staff members
When our nursing home abuse attorneys in Columbus, Georgia investigate nursing home cases, we typically seek nursing home and government agency records related to violations of regulations and appropriate standards of care that may include evidence from prior mandated inspections. If you or a close family member is a victim of abuse or neglect in a Columbus nursing home and suffer injury or a loved one dies, our Columbus nursing home abuse attorneys use all of our experience and expertise to obtain the best possible results for our clients. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation because there is absolutely no obligation for us to evaluate your Columbus nursing home abuse claim. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.
Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.