Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The decision to place a loved one, like a parent or grandparent, in a nursing home is a difficult one. We put our trust in these facilities to take care of our elders and family members, who may be in a fragile state, physically and mentally. It is devastating, therefore, when they betray our trust by neglecting or abusing our loved ones.
If your parent, grandparent or loved one was the victim of abuse at a convalescent facility, you should help him or her seek justice. If you, personally, are the victim, an attorney can represent you and fight for you to recover.
Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer
ReShea Balams is an Atlanta attorney who fights for the victims of abuse and neglect at the hands of nursing home staff. If you suspect or know your parent, grandparent or loved one has been the victim, or you yourself are, contact an Atlanta nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer at The Balams Firm.
Call (404) 445-2005 to schedule a free consultation. ReShea Balams represents clients throughout the Atlanta area, including Roswell, Johns Creek, Milton, Sandy Springs, Smyrna, Alpharetta, East Point, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Dunwoody, Forest Park, Brookhaven, Riverdale, College Park and Norcross.
Issues for Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
- Georgia Regulations for Nursing Homes
- What to Look for in Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
- Guardianship for Family Members
- Resources for Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Regulations for nursing homes are established by the Georgia Department of Community Health, and found in Chapter 111-8-56 of its Rules. A “nursing home” is defined as a facility that admits patients by medical referral only for continuous medical supervision. It must maintain facilities and services for skilled nursing care and rehabilitative nursing, and have an agreement with a physician and a dentist who will be available for any emergency.
- The home is under the supervision of a licensed nursing home administrator (118-8-56-.03);
- There must be sufficient nursing staff on duty at all times (118-8-56-.04);
- Each patient must be provided two hours of direct nursing care per day (118-8-56-.04);
- The nursing staff should only do nursing duties (118-8-56-.04);
- The home should only admit patient for whom it can provide needed care (118-8-56-.05);
- Meals may only be five hours apart (118-8-56-.06);
- The home must have sufficient procedures in place to prevent the spread of disease (118-8-56-.10); and
- Clean linen must be available at all time, and soiled linen cannot accumulate (118-8-56-.14).
If a nursing home fails to meet any of these regulations, it has committed “per se negligence.” That means that, unless the defendants can shake that presumption, the person suing only has to prove his or her damages.
Additionally, nursing homes must meet the standards of care applicable to doctors, dentists, nurses and other medical professionals. These include:
- The duty to obtain informed consent for any procedures or treatment;
- The duty to carefully and regularly monitor patients; and
- The duty to diagnose any potential issues.
If your loved one is in a nursing home, abuse or neglect may sometimes be difficult to spot. This is especially true if he or she has difficulty communicating or has a cognitive disability, including Alzheimer’s Disease. Some telltale signs, however, can include:
- Bed sores
- Broken bones
- Bruises around the breasts or genitals (could be signs of sexual abuse)
- Sexually transmitted infections (also could be sign of sexual abuse)
- Dramatic weight loss
- Rapid diminishment of cognitive ability
- Fear of nursing home staff or paranoia
Any of these could be a sign that the patient is experienced abuse or neglect.
Most patients in a nursing home are adults. As an adult, they are legally entitled to make their own decisions and act on their own behalf unless otherwise ordered under law. However, a person in nursing home care may not have the capacity to act on their own.
If your loved one is not able to act, you can seek to become his or her guardian. As the guardian of your parent or family member, you will be able to bring legal actions on their behalf.
Guardianship is a legal process. An attorney can assist you in obtaining it.
Georgia Department of Community Health, Nursing Home Program: The program regulates nursing homes in the state of Georgia.2 Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 656-4507
Georgia Rules and Regulations for Nursing Homes: Chapter 111-8-56 contains all regulations by which that nursing homes in Georgia must abide.
The Balams Firm | Atlanta Attorney to Represent Victims of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
ReShea Balams is an Atlanta nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer who represents those who have suffered due to poor or malicious treatment by nursing home staff. If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect, your first step should be to seek knowledgeable legal representation. Call The Balams Firm today at (404) 445-2005 to set up a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.
The Balams Firm represents clients throughout Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb and Clayton Counties.