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Families trust nursing homes in Athens implicitly with the lives and welfare of their elderly loved ones. All nursing homes and long-term care facilities have a legal obligation to ensure the physical, emotional, and psychosocial well-being of their residents. Sadly, not all nursing homes in Georgia take their responsibilities to seniors seriously. Many are guilty of abusing, neglecting, and mistreating their residents – resulting in severe and sometimes even fatal injuries for victims.
A despicable crime such as nursing home abuse can be difficult to come to terms with, especially when it affects someone that you love. It is critical, however, to take prompt legal action if you suspect this crime in Athens. At Dan Chapman & Associates, LLC, our nursing home abuse attorneys can help you build a case against a nursing home or another defendant in Georgia to demand justice, accountability, and fair financial compensation. Call us today at (678) 504-8564 to start with a free initial case consultation.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing homes and similar elder care facilities have legal and ethical duties of care to their residents. They must provide proper medical care, for example, and prevent seniors from wandering or elopement. Unfortunately, many nursing homes shirk their duties to save time or money. This can result in elder neglect or abuse. The four main types of nursing home abuse are:
- Physical. Intentionally injuring or harming a nursing home resident through physical assault or battery, such as hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, punching, pushing, or yanking a victim around.
- Emotional. Causing emotional distress, mental anguish, or psychological harm through verbal abuse or nonverbal acts, such as improper use of restraints, isolation, beratement, humiliation, yelling, threatening, intimidating, or terrorizing the victim.
- Sexual. Sexual contact of any kind with a nursing home resident without his or her consent. Many senior citizens cannot give their consent due to mental health conditions and cognitive problems, such as dementia.
- Financial. Exploiting a nursing home resident for financial gains, such as through scams, fraud, or coercion.
Nursing home abuse is done knowingly and intentionally, such as by a violent or abusive caregiver. An elderly person could also suffer from nursing home neglect, which is the careless (and often unintentional) failure to provide the appropriate level of care to a resident. Both elder abuse and neglect can have devastating consequences for a victim, and require the assistance of an Athens injury lawyer.
Is Your Loved One a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse in Athens?
Nursing home abuse is largely underreported in Georgia and throughout the United States. Victims don’t report elder abuse for many reasons, including the assumption of not being believed, fear of retaliation, and disabilities that make it impossible to come forward. This often means it is the responsibility of the victim’s family to notice signs of nursing home abuse and report it to the authorities. Your loved one may be experiencing abuse if you notice any of the following:
- Unexplained or frequent physical injuries
- Serious injuries, such as broken bones
- Injuries or bruising on hidden parts of the body
- Bloody undergarments
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety
- Unkempt appearance or lack of personal hygiene
- Low self-esteem or feelings of guilt or shame
- Withdrawal from favorite people or hobbies
- Nightmares or signs of post-traumatic stress disorder
- An overall decline in physical or mental health
Nursing home abuse can cause one or more of these signs, or none of them at all. Communicate with your elderly loved one often and make unannounced visits to the nursing home to check up on him or her. If you think something is amiss, ask your loved one directly about how he or she is being treated at the nursing home. If you suspect nursing home abuse or elder neglect, take immediate action to protect your loved one.
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in Athens, Georgia
First, take your loved one out of the care of the nursing home and to a safe location. If there are any physical injuries that need tending to, bring the victim to a hospital immediately. Document the incident by asking your loved one to recount what happened for the record. Then, report the crime of nursing home abuse to the correct authorities:
- Call 911 if someone is in immediate danger.
- Call (706) 613-3345 to file a non-emergency police report for elder abuse in Clarke County.
- Report the issue to the nursing home manager.
- Call (866) 552-4464 to file a report of abuse of elder persons to the Division of Aging Services.
- Contact your local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program office for help.
- Call (678) 504-8564 to speak to a nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens.
Speaking up can save not only your loved one but countless other senior citizens from suffering at the hands of an abusive nursing home staff member or caregiver in Athens. Resources are available to help the victim and his or her family seek justice and hold a nursing home accountable.
Compensation Available for Nursing Home Abuse
Filing a lawsuit against a nursing home in Athens for the mistreatment or abuse of your elderly loved one can deliver justice for the victim, as well as the financial compensation that your relative needs to move forward. A successful nursing home abuse lawsuit in Georgia could result in the following types of damages, and more:
- Present and future medical expenses
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Mental anguish
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Diminished quality or enjoyment of life
- Legal fees and other costs
- Wrongful death damages
- Punitive damages
At Dan Chapman & Associates, LLC, our nursing home abuse lawyers are prepared to do everything they can to help you and your family achieve the results that you deserve. We can assess the value of your elder abuse or neglect claim after getting to know the victim. Then, we can go up against any nursing home or defendant in pursuit of maximum compensation on your behalf.
Do You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse in Athens? Contact Us Now
Do not delay in consulting with an attorney if you believe someone you know is suffering the terrible crime of nursing home abuse. Your family may be eligible for monetary damages for the economic and noneconomic losses that were inflicted by an abuser. The Athens nursing home abuse attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates, LLC, can help you with every phase of the recovery process while your family focuses on healing. Please call (678) 504-8564 or send us an online message today and we will schedule a free case review.