According to data from the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), roughly 2.2 million Americans lived in nursing homes and other long-term care residential communities in 2014. Of them, more than 14,200 reported abuse, gross negligence, or exploitation, and experts believe the reported cases represent but a small fraction of the total cases of abuse and neglect.
Abuse can take many forms, including physical violence, financial exploitation, or emotional abuse such as yelling at an elderly person. But a potential canary in the coalmine—an indication that something might not be right at your loved one’s nursing home—is the neglect of basic quality of life services such as hygiene and nourishment. Even on their own, neglecting these needs runs afoul of state and federal rules, and nursing homes should be held accountable.
If you see signs of deterioration in your loved one, including things such as rapid weight loss or hair loss, you need to act quickly. There may be a medical condition that needs to be treated but is being overlooked. Perhaps the nursing home’s staff is not attending to your loved one’s dietary and grooming needs. Neither is acceptable.
By working with an Atlanta rapid weight loss or hair loss lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, you will have an advocate on your loved one’s side, constantly working to protect their rights. If need be, they can take their case to court to seek compensation for their damages.
Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means you will not pay us anything until we recover a settlement or judgment on your behalf. Call our offices today at (800) 842-6336. We never shy away from the tough cases.
Nursing Home Rights
Both federal and state laws and regulations enumerate rights that residents of nursing homes possess. Georgia requires, among other things, that nursing homes comply with all laws and regulations and provide care, treatment, and services, and “with respect for the residents’ personal dignity and privacy.”
Federal regulations go into more relevant detail about a resident’s “quality of life” in U.S. 42 Code of Federal Regulations §483.24. The regulation requires nursing homes to ensure that residents can carry out five activities of daily living, either on their own or with provided assistance. These are:
- Hygiene: bathing, dressing, grooming, and oral care
- Mobility: transfer and ambulation, including walking
- Elimination: toileting
- Dining: eating, including meals and snacks
- Communication: speech, language, and other functional communication systems
Weight and Hair Loss
Involuntary weight loss can have profound consequences for our elders. A 2010 study in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society (AGS) underlined how important this is: Nearly two in five hospitalized older adults were malnourished.
There are a lot of reasons women might lose their hair, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Sometimes it is related to aging or medication. Other times it is a matter of heredity and worsens after menopause. But “extreme stress or shock to the body”—including rapid weight loss—can also cause temporary hair loss. Either of these signs is an indication that something might be wrong, and your loved one’s nursing home should be attuned to the potential problems.
In Georgia, if you believe your loved one is being neglected, you have two options: file a grievance or file a lawsuit. You can also do both.
Any resident whose rights have been violated may submit an oral or written grievance to a Georgia Department of Community Health (GDCH) administrator, who must respond within five business days.
If the person filing the grievance is not satisfied with the outcome, they then file a complaint to the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LCTO). The resident or ombudsman may request a hearing, which must be conducted within 45 days. If the GDCH determines there is a violation of state rules, it will give the nursing home the chance to correct it. Otherwise, it will levy fines.
Regardless of whether you have pursued a grievance—or its outcome—you can also file a lawsuit seeking damages for neglect. Your Atlanta rapid weight loss or hair loss lawyer will investigate the cause of your loved one’s rapid weight loss or hair loss and work to demonstrate negligence—that is, that the nursing home breached its responsibility to care for your loved one, leading to their injuries and losses.
For a free legal consultation with a Rapid Weight Loss or Hair Loss Lawyer serving Atlanta, call (800) 794-0444
How We Can Help
You expect your loved one to receive the dignity and professional care to which they are entitled in a nursing home. When that does not happen—especially when neglect can have dangerous medical consequences—you can fight back by working with an Atlanta rapid weight loss or hair loss lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.
Your case evaluation is free, and you will not pay us a dime until we recover damages for you. Let us go seek justice for your loved one. Call our offices at (800) 842-6336.