Articles Posted in Nursing Home Abuse

unlawful use of physical and chemical restraints in nursing homesGeorgia law gives nursing home residents the right to be free from chemical and physical restraints that restrict mobility. While there can be legitimate reasons for them, some nursing care facilities use these tools to keep difficult residents in line.

This can be a violation of state and federal law, as both prohibit using restraints for the sake of convenience rather than out medical necessity.

Physical restraints are any devices or equipment used to restrict a resident’s freedom of movement. Common types of physical restraints used in nursing homes include:

Although Georgia’s hot and humid summers can be miserable for anyone, the extreme temperatures can be downright deadly for seniors. Elderly adults are particularly vulnerable to heat stress injuries. Not only do older people have a more difficult time adjusting to temperature shifts, but they may also have chronic health conditions that affect the way their body reacts to heat or be taking a prescription drug that impacts temperature regulation.

nursing home neglect heat injuriesAs a result, the summer months can be especially dangerous for elderly residents in overcrowded and understaffed nursing homes.

Nursing home residents are susceptible to numerous heat-related injuries and illnesses, such as:

taking care of loved ones while far away Van Sant LawMoving a loved one into a nursing home is a difficult decision. If you have a demanding work schedule or live too far away to visit regularly, you may be especially concerned about whether your relative’s needs are being met. You might also be worried they could become a victim of nursing home abuse.

Sadly, these concerns aren’t unfounded. Studies show nursing home residents who don’t get visitors are more likely to suffer abuse or neglect, as staff members may assume that no one will notice—or challenge—their poor conduct, and seniors

may be too isolated or frightened to report their mistreatment.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a major problem throughout the United States, with the National Center on Elder Abuse reporting that between 1 and 2 million Americans over age 65 are affected. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse often goes unreported because seniors cannot speak up for themselves or are too afraid to do so. In fact, the National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that only one in five cases of abuse are ever reported.

Nursing home abuse has devastating consequences. Residents can die as a direct result of abuse or neglect, or as a result of the emotional trauma that results from not being cared for properly. Those who are lucky enough to live through the abuse can also sustain ongoing medical trauma and emotional distress as a result of their ordeal. Unfortunately, family members can also be devastated by what happened to their loved ones who were supposed to be cared for by trusted professionals.

Family members, physicians and friends of the elderly are the first and best line of defense against elder abuse and neglect, and it is important to be armed with information about nursing home abuse. An Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer is a good source of information about your legal rights and is the appropriate person to contact if you wish to make a claim to recover financial compensation from a nursing home after abuse or neglect causes injury. Various state agencies and local law enforcement can also provide assistance in an abuse situation.

Nursing homes are required by federal law to report any and all allegations of neglect or abuse that are made by residents or family members. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are not living up to their reporting obligations. This makes it difficult for the government to enforce rules designed to ensure patient safety. When a nursing home fails to report possible abuse or neglect, family members and seniors looking for a residential care environment may also be deprived of information they need to make an informed choice. nursing home abuse Van Sant Law

Every credible accusation of potential abuse and neglect should be investigated. Victims who need help understanding their rights and obtaining compensation for abuse should consult with an Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer for assistance with their case. In many situations, having an attorney is the only way to get justice and to ensure that the negligent nursing home does not do more harm to other vulnerable seniors.

Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse May Be Underreported

Swallowing, while a seemingly effortless task, requires the coordination of more than 50 muscles and nerves in your throat, chest and face. Unfortunately, many seniors- especially those who have suffered a stroke, who have Alzheimer’s or who suffer from other neurological conditions- may be unable to swallow their food safely.

When nursing homes admit patients, they have the obligation of providing reasonable care to those patients- which includes making sure that the patient has a diet that is safe and monitoring the patient’s eating. Unfortunately, nursing homes are sometimes negligent in fulfilling this duty, which can lead to choking and sometimes to death.

If you have had a choking incident and suffered injury as a result of a nursing home failing to monitor your diet and intake, or if you have lost a loved one in a choking accident in a nursing home, the nursing facility may be responsible for compensating you for losses. A Georgia nursing home abuse lawyer should be consulted for more information on taking action after a choking incident.

Nursing home abuse is on the rise in Georgia. As AJC.com reports, the Georgia Counsel on Aging indicates that there has been a 65 percent increase in reported nursing home abuse between 2008 and 2012. The problem is likely to only grow worse as the population ages. By 2050, as many as 20 percent of the total U.S. population will be 65 and up. Many of these seniors are going to be cared for by low-paid and untrained workers in nursing home facilities that are overcrowded and understaffed.

Lawmakers in Georgia are trying to address the problem and provide more protections for seniors in nursing home facilities. Northwest Georgia News reported on GA House Bill 72, which is designed to tighten elder abuse laws, close loopholes in existing regulation, and boost the tools that law enforcement officers have to fight elder abuse crimes. If this bill passes, it could make a significant difference in how patients are treated and in what happens when nursing homes fail in their duties.

Nursing home residents need to be aware that facilities can be held civilly, as well as criminally responsible when abuse occurs. Victims of abuse should consult with an Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer for help pursuing a claim for compensation if they suffer harm.

Recently, Washington Post reported on the death of an 88-year-old woman while she was supposed to be receiving care in a nursing facility. The woman had undergone a hip replacement procedure and was discharged from the hospital. Her daughter referred to a list that the hospital had provided to select a nursing home for the woman to go to after discharge. The home that was chosen by the daughter had an affiliation with the hospital, which the family had been happy with for providing good care.

Unfortunately, while the hospital may have provided acceptable care, the nursing care facility was definitely not a good, caring location for the patient to recover. The hospital, while it provided a list of care facilities that featured this particular home, did not include details on the nursing home. Among the details that the hospital failed to give to the patient and her daughter: the fact the home had repeated citations for violations and the fact the home had only a one-star rating from Medicare.

Unfortunately, situations like this are not isolated incidents. Patients are routinely discharged from hospitals into nursing homes or rehab centers that hospitals recommend€¦ and sometimes those “recommendedfacilities can be dangerous. If an injury or illness happens because a patient receives substandard care in a nursing home, the victim or his family should consult with an Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer for help.

Nursing home residents deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, but unfortunately many nursing home patients suffer various types of abuse at the hands of caregivers who should be helping them to stay safe and cared for. Conservative Review reported recently on a multi-year investigation that the AARP conducted into the abusive practices of nursing homes overprescribing patients anti-psychotic drugs. Atlanta nursing home abuse Van Sant Law

This practice can have deadly consequences for patients and it is vitally important that seniors and their families take legal action when a nursing home improperly administers medication. The improper use of anti-psychotic drugs is called chemical restraint and it is considered to be a form of nursing home abuse.

An Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer can provide assistance in making a claim to recover compensation for economic loss and for compensatory damages when this type of abuse happens.

Nursing home residents are entitled to receive care so their basic needs are met and they are also entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, a ProPublica article published last December 2015 revealed that too often residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities are not being treated with even a modicum of the respect that they deserve. The article revealed that staff members at many nursing homes and assisted living facilities were sharing photographs and videos of senior residents without their permission and in compromising positions. The photos, some of which included residents in partial stages of undress, were placed on Snapchat and on other social media websites for purposes of mocking the seniors.

This type of abuse is unacceptable, as are all types of abuse of the elderly. When staff members engage in this behavior, the nursing home that employs them should be held accountable in a civil lawsuit. An Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer can provide assistance to victims of elder abuse and their families in exploring all legal options for recovering monetary damages for inappropriate treatment of seniors in nursing facilities. Efforts also need to be made to prevent and punish this type of abusive behavior when it occurs. Multiple U.S. senators have now taken up the cause, as examples of abuse cases continue to mount.

Senators Urge Action to Prevent Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse

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