There is never a justification for nursing home negligence. Older adults are the keepers of our memories and should be treated with care and professionalism when they live in nursing homes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that more than 1 in every 7 Americans is currently an older adult, and by 2060 they will make up nearly 25% of the United States (US) population.
Wisdom and age are often accompanied by chronic diseases such as dementia, arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. Many seniors choose to live in a nursing home for companionship and professional assistance, whether from an aide or skilled nurse. What happens when the nursing home you or a loved one are living in is negligent, causing injury or harm? It might be time to contact a personal injury attorney such as Meeks Impact Law.
Are Nursing Home Neglect And Abuse The Same Thing?
Nursing homes are required to provide reasonable care that does not result in harm, but sometimes residents of homes are neglected or abused. Although most people think abuse and neglect are the same, they are seen as separate concepts according to the Disabled Adults and Elder Persons Protection Act. If you have concerns, a lawyer can help to identify which one is relevant to your case. The Act defines neglect and abuse as follows:
Abuse. The willful infliction of physical pain, physical injury, sexual abuse, mental anguish, unreasonable confinement, or the willful deprivation of essential services to a disabled adult or elder person.
Neglect. The absence or omission of essential services to the degree that it harms or threatens with harm the physical or emotional health of a disabled adult or elder person.
Nursing Home Negligence Signs
Have you been treated in a manner that makes you uncomfortable, but you are unsure whether it is seen as negligence? When visiting a loved one, did you notice changes in their behavior or circumstances? According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), you don’t have to prove that abuse or neglect is occurring before reporting it. Here are some signs the NIA identifies as abuse or neglect.
- The older adult has unwashed hair or dirty clothes
- They lose weight for no reason
- There are unexplained bruises, cuts, scars or burns
- They stop taking part in activities they used to enjoy.
What Can You Do When You Notice Nursing Home Negligence?
Many people are required by Georgia law to report suspected neglect, abuse, or exploitation, according to the Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services. It includes physicians, interns, residents, and other hospital or medical personnel. If you suspect nursing home abuse, you can report it in various ways, including online with the Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation Division (HFRD).
Do you feel concerned about going through the process on your own, as you might want to institute a claim against a person or the nursing home? Meeks Impact Law can be your committed advocate inside and outside the courtroom.
How Meeks Impact Law Can Help You
If you or a loved one suffered at a nursing home, you might be able to sue for damages with the assistance of a personal injury lawyer such as Zach Meeks of Meeks Impact Law. An expert and caring nursing home and elder abuse lawyer, he is familiar with the numerous laws that protect older adults and govern healthcare facilities.
Because seniors are physically and mentally more vulnerable, nursing home negligence often requires medical care. The team at Meeks Impact Law includes a legal nurse consultant with experience as a registered nurse in the Emergency Department. At Meeks Impact Law, we really care about our clients and their families, and give each case our personal attention.
We are a small family-based law firm in Cumming, Georgia, that cares about their clients as individuals and their families. Have you or a loved one experienced nursing home negligence? Contact us today for a free case evaluation.