If your loved one requires some extra help on a daily basis, but still retains a significant amount of independence and autonomy, helping them move to an assisted living facility might seem like the best option for everyone. This becomes a viable option for thousands of Americans per year, with 28,900 estimated assisted living communities with options for dignified living as an older adult, according to the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL).
Assisted living facilities are meant to provide the maximum amount of independence and dignity for your loved one, but accidents can happen. An Atlanta assisted living accident lawyer can help you understand your potential legal options, and your best next steps. Call our offices today for a free consultation.
About Assisted Living Services in Atlanta
Assisted living facilities can provide an independent and collaborative approach to aging, but most residents still require help with certain daily tasks. NCAL says the following about the needs of assisted living residents in Georgia:
- 64 percent of people in assisted living facilities still need help with bathing
- 56 percent of assisted living residents need help with walking
- 47 percent need help with dressing in an assisted living facility
- 38 percent of residents need assistance with using the bathroom
- 21 percent of residents need help with getting in or out of bed
- 14 percent of residents need help during mealtime
This is not an exhaustive list of the options that your loved one’s assisted living facility could provide, but they are some of the most important. In addition, an assisted living facility is one way to help older adults maintain a sense of community, physical, social, and mental well-being, and other approaches to active aging.
Civil Rights in an Assisted Living Services Facility
Although assisted living facilities provide much more personal freedom, many of the rights of residents in other types of facilities overlap with the rights of assisted living residents.
The Georgia Department of Community Health stipulates that assisted living facility residents must be accommodated by facility staff in the following ways:
- Each resident must receive the necessary services, treatments, medications, and diet as prescribed”
- Proper care to ensure that residents do not get pressure sores, or bedsores
- Every resident is kept comfortable and clean
- Residents are treated with dignity, kindness, and respect
- Residents are safe from preventable injury and infection
- Residents are entitled to prompt, unhurried assistance if she or he requires help with eating
- Provide assistance with self-care including bathing and brushing teeth if needed
In addition, residents must be accommodated by specific building codes for assisted living facilities for ease of mobility. These codes include specifications for handrails in hallways and staircases, secure flooring, clean and private living spaces and common areas. There are also regulations for bathrooms and showers, which must be made to accommodate your loved one’s physical needs and accessibility.
Another important civil right in an assisted living facility is the development and following of a care plan. The planning and negotiating for a care plan may involve your loved one’s input, as long as they are able to contribute. Somewhat different from an assisted living facility resident’s care plan, an assisted living facility must plan for the everyday recreational opportunities for assisted living residents. When any of the rights mentioned above are neglected or violated, your loved one may experience an accident at the assisted living facility. This is where an Atlanta assisted living accident lawyer can help you build and file a claim.
How Assisted Living Facility Accidents Happen
It is true that accidents happen, and sometimes without any particular cause. But when your loved one in an assisted living facility has an accident where they suffer an injury that needs additional medical treatment, there may be a larger case of abuse going on.
Older adults in assisted living facilities are vulnerable to elder abuse. According to the Administration on Aging, older adults are more likely to be “mistreated by someone with whom they have a trusting relationship—most often a spouse, sibling, child, friend, or caregiver.” No case of elder abuse will be exactly the same, but there are some warning signs given by the Administration on Aging:
- Your loved one appears to be socially isolated or cut off from contacting friends and family
- Your loved one is often confused or depressed
- Your loved one has an appearance of malnourishment or dehydration
- Your loved one’s hygiene seems poor, or they have bruises and sores they cannot explain
- Your loved one lacks proper healthcare in any form: Eyesight, dental, hearing, incontinence
- There is abuse of alcohol or drugs, or your loved one is unnecessarily medicated
- Your loved one has trouble sleeping, or trouble staying awake during visits with friends and family
This is a non-exhaustive list of the warning symptoms of elder abuse. Some symptoms can be more subtle than others, but it is important to document as much information as possible when you decide to work with a lawyer. More evidence in your claim is always better when fighting for your loved one’s rights.
Reporting Assisted Living Abuse
There are a few steps you will want to take when you suspect your loved one is being abused in an assisted living facility. First, you should always try talking to them frankly about the abuse and see if you can get a first-hand account of what is going on. If your loved one is in immediate danger, it is best to call 911 and get law enforcement involved.
Next, you should contact the Georgia Adult Protective Services, and your loved one’s local care ombudsman. Both will be able to formally help file a report. In most cases, our lawyers can ease the burden of the claim filing process by doing the cumbersome paperwork for you. All you need to do is contact our offices to begin working on your case.
For a free legal consultation with a Atlanta Assisted Living Accidents Lawyer serving Atlanta, call (800) 794-0444
Get Advice from an Atlanta Assisted Living Accident Lawyer
You will not regret working with an Atlanta assisted living accident lawyer. The lawyers at Pintas & Mullins will help you understand your rights, and handle filing a lawsuit from start to finish. All you should be worried about is the quality care of your loved one.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to speak with a member of our team about your assisted living facility accident now.