It’s a question that many of us will face at some point in our lifetimes. What do we do about seeking care for our loved ones who can’t care for themselves any longer? Often, the answer is a long-term nursing home facility or seeking in-home professional care because we are not capable of handling the care ourselves. While there are many homes and services like this that provide the utmost in care for our loved ones, unfortunately, sometimes abuse and neglect can occur. This type of treatment is not only unfair, but it is devastating to those who want the best for an elderly or disabled loved one. Thankfully, our personal injury lawyers in Augusta at Ted A. Greves and Associates are here for you. With the right evidence and the help of our attorneys, you could possibly have a case for compensation when abuse like this occurs. Nursing home abuse and neglect, whether in Augusta, GA or anywhere in the world, is a potentially life-threatening travesty and should be stopped when at all possible.
How often does nursing home abuse and neglect happen?
This question is often one of the hardest to answer, as there are no firm statistics on how often nursing home abuse and neglect happens. Much of the grey area with this type of abuse results from the fact that victims often do not report or cannot report what is happening to them. However, recent research shows that between 1 and 2 million Americans (aged 65 and older) have been abused or neglected by caregivers, whether in their home or in a facility. As the baby boomer generation ages and begins to increase the population in these facilities, we can only hope that this number does not increase.
What should my first steps be if I suspect nursing home abuse in NC?
The first and most important step if you suspect nursing home abuse is to talk to your loved one. Many times, a suspicion is a red flag in our minds as to what is really happening behind closed doors, and it is important to investigate. Reports have shown that oftentimes, the person being abused will not tell anyone what is happening, so it might be prudent to pay special mind to other signs of abuse, as well. Some visible signs of abuse or neglect include unsanitary living conditions, bed sores, frequent bruises, blood or cuts and even fractured bones. Pay special mind to the staff, as well. Noted aggression or even a cold or standoffish attitude can be signs of a bad relationship between the patient and the staff member. Additionally, if your loved on displays a drastic shift in demeanor or personality, this may mean emotional or physical abuse is happening. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to talk to your loved one about what is potentially happening.
Secondly, know the types of abuse that might be occurring. Many of us are aware that physical, sexual and emotional abuse could happen in any type of care facility. Often, there are physical signs of these types of abuse that we can see if we are paying attention. However, we don’t often think about other exploitations that could be happening. One of the main 7 types of abuse documented often with nursing homes or caregivers is financial abuse or insurance exploitation. According to the American Psychological Association, financial or material exploitation is the “illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property, or assets.” What is most heartbreaking about a situation like this is that these funds and assets have been likely worked hard for and put aside to ensure that proper care can be given to the individual without placing a burden on family members. Additionally, this type of abuse breaks the law, which is where our nursing home neglect lawyers can step in and help you to seek justice for the victim.
Third, record everything you know about the situation. When reporting an incident like this, it is best to have a record of every detail you have seen, noticed, or witnessed. Take pictures of bruises, cuts or other injuries, or photograph poor living conditions. If you have access to financial information, try to document any insurance or monetary fraud that is potentially happening. As many details as possible are helpful when filing a report.
Fourth, if you notice any signs of potential neglect or emotional or physical abuse, report it right away. With cases like these, it is imperative to act as soon as possible to prevent further abuse from happening. You never know when it might be too late to step in and get involved if you suspect something harmful or dangerous is going on. Your first steps in reporting a case could be to talk to facility managers or to call a hotline that is set up specifically for elder abuse. If you deem the situation to be potentially life threatening, please don’t hesitate to call 911 for immediate assistance.
Lastly, contact a nursing home abuse attorney in Augusta in order to find out what your options are in gaining justice for your elderly family member or friend. We know that fair compensation and quality living conditions are of utmost importance, and it is our duty to help you reach the best outcome possible.
How can an Augusta personal injury lawyer help me with my case?
Our personal injury lawyers in Augusta, GA are on hand to meet with you about your specific case relating to nursing home abuse and neglect. There are specific state laws relating to the proper care of the elderly that we can go over with you so that you know all of your options. We are also happy to review your case and to talk with you about next steps in not only receiving compensation for the physical, emotional, or financial abuse your loved one has endured, but to also ensure that proper care is sought and received in the future. Call or email us today at Ted A. Greves and Associates regarding your situation.