Making the decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home is one of the hardest decisions a family will ever have to make. To make matters worse, according to ProPublica, many nursing homes in Georgia have serious deficiencies.
Nursing home abuse should never be left unresolved—and on top of that, nursing home residents that may have suffered abuse are often eligible for compensation. These cases are extremely complicated, therefore, if you wish to file a lawsuit against a nursing home, you may want to speak to a Fulton County nursing home abuse lawyer about your legal options. Call today to schedule a consultation with a compassionate personal injury attorney.
Rights of Residents
All nursing home residents in Fulton County have certain rights that must be granted during their time in a nursing home. Under Georgia law, all nursing home residents have the right to receive adequate care free of discrimination. In addition to this, they also have certain rights pertaining to their time in the nursing home. To learn more about the rights of nursing home residents, contact an accomplished Fulton County nursing home abuse lawyer.
Privacy and Security
All nursing home residents have the right to privacy. Barring a medical condition that would make it dangerous to do so, nursing home residents must be given the right to close their doors and curtains, as well as to request that people knock before entering their room.
Nursing home residents also have the right to freedom of choice. They must be given the option to manage their own financial affairs, as well as the choice to receive or refuse medical or dental care. This is often a foundation of nursing home abuse cases.
Unfortunately, staff members are sometimes guilty of financial abuse when they steal money or coerce a resident into giving them money. Some staff members may also act recklessly when administering medication, resulting in nursing home abuse.
Physical Neglect and Abuse
Nursing home residents are also required to be given full access to proper meals in a timely manner. Five hours is the maximum time allowed between meals, and no more than 14 hours may pass between breakfast and dinner. Residents must also be offered snacks between meal times.
Nursing home abuse lawsuits often revolve around the use of physical or chemical restraints. Restraints must never be used in a nursing home, unless on the written recommendation of a doctor. When this is the case, circumstances in which restraints should be used must be fully explained, and a time limit must also be clearly defined.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
The first step a family should take when they suspect nursing home abuse is to report the case to the Healthcare Facility Regulation Division of the Georgia Department of Community Health. This agency will investigate complaints of any type of nursing home abuse, including financial abuse.
The process of reporting abuse can be lengthy, and it may also be forwarded to a long-term care ombudsman if the family does not get the results they were hoping for. In addition to reporting the incident to the proper government authorities and agencies, families could also speak to a Fulton County nursing home abuse attorney who could help them file a lawsuit.
The results from a Healthcare Facility Regulation investigation and/or the ombudsman would be considered separate from a civil lawsuit. To that end, a lawsuit may be the only way for residents to receive the compensation they may be entitled to in nursing home abuse cases. A capable Fulton County nursing home abuse lawyer could help an individual recover the damages they deserve.
Contacting a Fulton County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
While a lawsuit may not be able to undo the damage nursing home abuse can cause, it may help pay medical expenses for injuries related to the abuse and help the family move on from the incident. Because these cases may include the resident, nursing home staff, and large companies that own the nursing home, they can quickly become complicated. If you suspect that a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a long-term care facility, speak to a Fulton County nursing home abuse lawyer today.