You trusted an assisted living facility to care for your loved one as they aged and required increasingly complex medical care and support. If instead, nursing home staff inflicted harm on your family member, it’s time to speak with a Macon nursing home abuse lawyer.
No one deserves to be neglected, abused, or harmed by those entrusted with their care. Although we cannot undo the harm that was inflicted on your parent or grandparent, we can help address any resulting personal injuries, financial losses, and psychological damage. Contact the law office of Bey & Associates today, and we’ll schedule you for a free consultation to discuss the process for filing a nursing home abuse case.
Defining Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Family members often use the terms “nursing home abuse” and “nursing home neglect” interchangeably. While both these actions can result in serious injuries, differentiating between the two is important for those who intend to file nursing home abuse claims.
Nursing Home Abuse
When staff members purposely inflict physical, emotional, financial, or sexual harm on residents, it falls under the category of nursing home abuse. There is intent to cause harm.
Nursing Home Neglect
When staff members fail to meet the basic needs of residents, including adequate nutrition, medical care, clean water, clean bedding, and good hygiene, it falls under the category of nursing home neglect. Lack of action is the cause of harm.
Watching Out for Your Loved One
If you have loved ones living in assisted living facilities, we recommend remaining actively involved in their lives. Drop in at random times, and do not let staff members know ahead of time when you will be visiting. Observe what state the nursing home and your family member’s room appear to be in.
Your continued commitment to the wellbeing of your elderly relatives may be the most important barrier between them and abusive staff members.
When facilities fail to protect those entrusted to their care, you can rely on the nursing home abuse lawyers of Bey & Associates for legal help.
Types and Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Maintaining a strong connection with your family member will improve the likelihood of them disclosing if they have suffered abuse. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents who have been subjected to abuse struggle with feelings of shame and guilt that prevent them from telling others about what is going on.
Even if your loved one says that everything is fine, be on the lookout for the following signs of abuse. If you suspect anything is not as it seems, do not hesitate to make a report and then contact a nursing home abuse attorney.
The physical abuse or mistreatment of a nursing home resident will often result in noticeable signs, both physically and psychologically. This type of abuse may involve hitting, kicking, slapping, biting, restraining, or pushing a resident to perform tasks beyond their physical limitations.
Do not hesitate to ask questions, file a complaint, or speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer about filing a legal case if you notice any of the following:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, or contusions
- New or worsening injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Unexplained fear or agitation
- Refusal to speak
- Restraint marks
Common signs of a physical injury may also overlap with symptoms of neglect in nursing homes. An attorney from Bey & Associates will help review medical records and confer with medical experts about what happened to your loved one and whether abuse or neglect may have played a larger role.
Emotional Abuse (Psychological Abuse)
Every word said to your loved one should be spoken with their best interests in mind. When a staff member tries to intimidate or threaten residents or calls them names, they inflict psychological harm on them. Refusing to speak or acknowledge a resident may also warrant the filing of an elder abuse or negligence case.
If you notice any of the following signs in your loved one, it could be an indication that they are being emotionally abused:
- Refusal to speak
- Withdrawing from normal activities or hobbies
- Poor hygiene or refusal to care for themselves
- Depression or anxiety
Nursing homes can be caring and enriching environments for our loved ones. When nursing homes fail to care for both the physical and emotional health of a family member, it is time to take legal action. Speak with an attorney from Bey & Associates today.
The unauthorized spending or taking of a resident’s money or valuable possessions are two examples of financial abuse. This type of exploitation can ruin the financial stability of abused residents, compromising their ability to afford long-term care facilities, medical costs for aging services, and more.
Do not hesitate to contact a Macon nursing home abuse lawyer if you notice any of the following:
- New authorized users on a bank card or account
- New names unexpectedly added to wills
- Missing items of value
- Past-due bill notices
Any type of unwanted touching, groping, or viewing of sexual material falls under the category of sexual abuse. An imbalance of power is a common factor that allows this type of abuse to occur, and a disbelief in victims allows it to continue unchecked.
Take notice of the following signs of sexual abuse:
- Bruises or bleeding in the groin area
- Fear of being touched
- Fear of a specific staff member
Always believe your loved one. If they report being sexually abused or show any of the above signs, meet with a nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing homes may try to explain away your loved one’s condition with excuses or point to their age. Do not mistake signs of neglect as those associated with aging. The following are not a given just because of someone’s age:
- Bed sores
- Taking the wrong medication
- Soiled linens or clothes
- Unexplained weight loss
Causes of Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse
The mistreatment of nursing home residents in Macon, GA is unacceptable. As nursing home abuse lawyers, we investigate every case we take on to determine what factors contributed to the abuse and neglect that the victim suffered. This is an important part of the legal process.
Some of the most common contributing factors to abuse in Georgia nursing homes include:
- Insufficient staffing numbers
- Lack of proper training
- Low pay
- Lack of accountability
- Hands-off management
No matter how underpaid or overworked staff members may feel, it is never an excuse to abuse or neglect those in their care. Bey & Associates holds negligent staff, nursing homes, and healthcare providers liable for actions that harm Georgia assisted living facility residents.
Rights Nursing Home Residents Are Entitled To
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outlines the rights of residents in nursing homes. These are to:
- Be treated with respect
- Participate in activities
- Be free from discrimination
- Be free from restraints
- Make complaints
- Receive proper medical care
- Access information on fees and services
- Manage their own money
- Information regarding living arrangements
- Spend time with family and visitors
- Receive social services
- Leave the nursing home for visits (if health permits)
- Move out
- Be protected from unfair discharge or transfer
- Participate in resident groups
If you believe your loved one’s rights have been violated, do not delay—contact a Macon nursing home abuse lawyer at Bey & Associates to learn about the legal action available to them.
How To Report Nursing Home Abuse in Macon, GA
In Georgia, Adult Protective Services (APS) is charged with investigating reports of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. If you believe that your loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse and neglect in Macon, Warner Robins, Bibb County, Houston County, or nearby, you may make a report by:
- Calling 911 and requesting a welfare check (if you believe they are in immediate danger)
- Calling Georgia’s Aging and Disability Network at 1-866-552-4464
- Completing the APS Intake Form online
- Calling the Georgia Department of Community Health at 1-800-878-6442
You do not need concrete proof of abuse to make a report. If you suspect that any type of abuse or neglect is occurring in a family member’s assisted living facility, report your concerns as soon as possible. After you’ve made the report, we invite you to schedule your free consultation with Bey & Associates.
Mandatory Nursing Home Abuse Reporters
A mandatory reporter is a person who is legally required to either make a report or ensure that a report is made when there is the suspicion or observation of abuse. In Georgia, mandatory reporters of elder abuse include:
- Registered professional nurses or nurses’ aides or licensed practical nurses
- Physical therapists
- Emergency medical services personnel
Managers, administrators, and other staff working in nursing homes are also considered to be mandatory reporters.
When Do Mandatory Reporters Have To Make a Report?
A mandatory reporter is required to make a report when they have a reasonable belief or suspicion that an elder person has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
If you believe mandatory reporters knew of the harm your loved one was suffering and did nothing, let your Macon nursing home abuse attorney know right away.
Legal Options for Victims of Elder Abuse
Both state and federal laws afford legal protections to those who have been harmed by elder abuse and neglect. If your loved one suffered physical, financial, or emotional damages as a result of a nursing home’s abusive practices, they may be eligible to recover compensation in a nursing home abuse claim.
This type of personal injury claim seeks to hold those responsible for harming our elderly loved ones legally liable for their actions. As a personal injury law firm, we have dedicated an area of our practice to this section of law. It is our hope that through our actions, we are able to provide comfort and rigorous legal guidance to elder abuse victims and their families.
Compensation Available in a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
So what does a fair settlement look like in your elder abuse case? The liable parties (including nursing homes) may be on the hook for both compensatory and exemplary damages.
In addition to securing a sense of justice, a nursing home abuse claim also allows victims to seek compensation for their related damages. Compensatory damages can be broken down into two distinct categories—economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages compensate victims for their tangible financial losses. Financial losses in a nursing home abuse case might include medical bills and moving costs.
Non-economic damages are your non-monetary losses. These encompass things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life.
You’ll work closely with your attorney to determine what you’ve lost monetarily and how your life has been affected. We’ll review your medical records and medical bills to prove just how much harm you suffered.
Also called punitive damages, exemplary damages are only awarded in a small number of personal injury cases where especially egregious acts of negligence or intentional acts of malice played a role. These damages serve to “make an example” of the liable party rather than to compensate the victim for their losses.
Why Work With Bey & Associates?
Proudly serving clients in Georgia, Bey & Associates is a top-rated personal injury law firm. Founder and managing partner N. John Bey was previously named as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and has appeared in Super Lawyers Magazine, among other honors.
Every member of our legal team has the experience, knowledge, and dedication to advocate for those who have suffered abuse in a nursing home setting.
Our devotion to our clients means that we only choose to take on a limited number of cases at a time. This allows us to truly focus on each and every client, investigating their claims with rigor and attention to detail.
We invite you to reach out to Bey & Associates so that we can discuss whether our law firm might be the right fit for your nursing home abuse and neglect case.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
Our proven track record of obtaining compensation for Georgia victims of nursing home abuse and neglect is unrivaled. We want to put that track record to work for you and your family.
For an opportunity to sit down one-on-one with a Macon nursing home abuse lawyer in a free, confidential setting, contact our law office today. We’ll schedule you for a free consultation at your family’s earliest convenience.