Nursing Home Injuries in Georgia
Every year one out of four nursing homes is cited for causing death or injury to a resident.
An unfortunate fact of life is that many people cannot care for themselves as they age. Their loved ones may have to make a difficult healthcare decision and may choose to turn to nursing homes or assisted living facilities for answers. Such facilities should provide a basic level of medical care as well as assistance with day-to-day activities. Although most do an adequate job, there are lapses in care. This negligence, dubbed nursing home abuse, is a serious problem.
If you trusted a nursing home or assisted living facility to care for a family member or loved one, and now you suspect that your loved one has suffered an injury or a decline in their condition due to the care they received, contact the Georgia nursing home injury attorneys of the Mann Law Firm.
Who Regulates Nursing Home Safety?
Nursing homes are inspected annually by the Georgia Department of Human Resources’ Office of Regulatory Services (ORS). The ORS has been given the responsibility of inspecting Georgia’s nursing homes by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The CMS is the component of the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services that oversees the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The Department of Health conducts inspections (known as surveys) in nursing homes to make sure they are following state and federal regulations. Nursing homes that have a history of serious problems are inspected more frequently.
Nursing home abuse can manifest itself in many ways.
It may happen only once (such as a physical attack) or may be a pattern of ongoing neglect. The most prevalent form is physical abuse. Examples of physical abuse include hitting an elderly patient, sexually assaulting them, over- or under-medicating them, or forcing them to eat. Physical abuse also occurs when a nursing home employee refuses to provide the basic level of care or neglects to do so.
Causes of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse has many causes, primarily ones related to not having enough qualified employees. Understaffing can lead to overworked employees’ taking their stress out on the patients. In addition, understaffing can result in neglect because there is less time for individual care. Furthermore, some nursing home employees are inadequately trained and cannot cope with the emotional aspects of the job. The liability of a nursing home owner or its employees can also result from negligent hiring and retention of staff, negligent maintenance of the premises, and negligent selection or maintenance of equipment.
The Warning Signs
Nursing home patients may not be able to communicate about abuse or may be afraid to do so. Thus, people who have loved ones in nursing homes must be on the lookout for signs of abuse. You should be concerned if a nursing home patient has unexplained bruises or burns, is depressed, or is malnourished. You should also be concerned if the staff refuses to allow a resident to have visitors or be alone with visitors.
A Georgia Attorney Can Help
At the Mann Law Firm, we have over 50 years of experience helping people whose loved ones have suffered from all kinds of personal injuries, including nursing home abuse. There is help available, so if your loved one exhibits warning signs of abuse, contact us online or call (478) 742-3381 to discuss holding the facility responsible. We have helped hundreds of Georgia residents, and we are sensitive to the issues that surround nursing home abuse.