Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Eleven percent of Georgia’s population is 65 years old and older, according to the latest statistics available from the U.S. Census Bureau.The 2010 U.S. Census reported that those over 65 years old, the “Baby Boomers,” make up 13 percent of the total population. That amounts to 40.3 million people, according to census numbers. Federal statistics point to senior citizens making up 20 percent of the U.S. population by the year 2050. Nationally, 3.2 million people resided in nursing homes or long-term care facilities in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The National Center for Assisted Living reports that more than 900,000 people lived in assisted living centers in 2009. Statistically, nursing home abuse is bound to rise, creating a need for Georgia nursing home abuse attorneys. Call Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys to find out about your legal rights immediately.
Nursing home abuse can be related to environmental issues, like a lack of building maintenance, to physical, emotional, verbal, or personal property abuse or neglect. A 2000 study included interviews from nursing home residents. In that study, 44 percent said they had been abused and 95 percent said that either they had been neglected or had seen another resident neglected. Adults with disabilities are particularly vulnerable. Thirty-three percent of institutionalized women with disabilities report interpersonal violence compared to 21 percent of institutionalized women without disabilities. Of the 357 Georgia nursing homes and rehabilitation centers rated under government rules for facilities accepting Medicare patients, only one had a perfect ranking in almost every area reviewed, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service website. Only 17 percent of facilities had highly coveted five-star overall rankings. Nursing home abuse affects patients, their families and the court system. There are Georgia nursing home abuse attorneys who specialize in large and small cases. A jury ruled against an out-of-state nursing home management company in a 2011 case in Rockmart, Ga., and awarded $2 million to the family of the death of the 82-year-old abuse victim.
In an extension of that case, Georgia nursing home abuse attorneys then began pursuing cases against the other Northwest Georgia nursing homes also managed by the same company. According to the FBI, an Atlanta nursing home owner was convicted of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid after pocketing almost $33 million and leaving residents in three of his nursing homes without food and proper air and heat, while forcing them to live with leaky roofs, excessive trash, flies, rodents, mold and mildew. Other deficiencies stemmed from inadequate staffing and failing to pay vendors, such as food suppliers, pharmacy, clinical laboratory services, medical waste disposal, trash disposal and nursing supplies. The state shuttered all three facilities. Nursing home staffs tend to neglect patients where the family doesn’t visit or ask questions. Every facility is, by law, supposed to have contact information for an advocate, called an ombudsman, for families to register concerns and complaints. Family members with concerns should seek out information, contact an ombudsman or speak with Georgia nursing home abuse attorneys. It is important for family members to notice changes in their loved one’s personality and physical appearance while staying in a facility. Possible signs of abuse include bruises, welts, broken bones, pressure sores, weight loss and poor hygiene.
Family members also need to ask if their loved one is getting all the services listed in his or her treatment plan. Facilities have been known to forgo services such as physical and occupational therapy for no apparent reason. That would also be considered abuse, according to most Georgia nursing home abuse attorneys. The patient is also entitled to maintain his or her regular doctors’ visits outside the facility with the facility transporting them, if necessary. That is important to maintain because a primary care physician or a specialist who sees them regularly may notice signs of abuse even if the family does not. Also, a patient may be more willing to confide in a medical care professional than family members, or Georgia nursing home abuse attorneys, about possible abuse or neglect. You may want to consider talking to one of our Georgia nursing home attorneys if you think a loved one may be a victim.