Whether they are in a traditional nursing home or one run by the state specifically for those who have served in our country’s military, veterans are vulnerable to nursing home abuse and neglect. Some nursing homes do not have the experience to handle the unique needs that many veterans have.
Understaffing and undertraining can lead to less than desirable conditions at a nursing home. Families who have to make the difficult decision to place a loved one who is also a veteran into a nursing home must do their due diligence in finding an appropriate facility.
If you have a loved one who served for this country and is currently experiencing neglect or abuse in a nursing home, you can hire an Atlanta veteran’s neglect and abuse lawyer. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we can go over the details of your case in a free evaluation. Call us to set up a free consultation with a team member.
Georgia Nursing Home Regulations
The state of Georgia has a Bill of Rights in place that are designed to protect nursing home residents. These laws, collected under § 111-8-50, mandate that patients have the following rights:
- Nursing home residents have a right to privacy with doors that close and windows with shades or curtains—unless there are medical reasons to keep doors opened. Staff should respect patient privacy by knocking on the door before entering rooms. Nursing home resident privacy extends to sending and receiving mail as well.
- The constitutional rights of nursing home residents are still intact, and they maintain their freedom to practice whatever religion they choose and to handle their own financial affairs (unless there is an appointed guardian who is doing so). They have the right to refuse medical treatment.
- Nursing home residents deserve healthy, nutritious foods cooked by professional dieticians. Meals and snacks should be spread apart an appropriate number of hours so residents do not go hungry.
- The use of physical or chemical restraints must be done cautiously—and only when medically necessary to protect the patient. Physical restraints, in particular, should be used cautiously in a facility where veterans reside. Many who have been to war now suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and nursing home staff must be careful in treating these veterans. The use of restraints or medication to keep certain behaviors under control can have a profoundly negative effect because of PTSD and other disorders.
The Vulnerability of Veterans to Nursing Home Abuse
Veterans who need nursing home care are often suffering from conditions such as dementia that make them particularly susceptible to nursing home abuse. When nursing home residents have declined physically and mentally to such a degree as to need care around the clock, nursing home staff members who are abusive to patients often have no fear of retribution or being discovered.
This places veterans and other nursing home patients in a vulnerable position—often without recourse unless an alert family member picks up on the abuse. If you believe your veteran loved one is experiencing nursing home abuse, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. One of our team members can review your case—for free.
For a free legal consultation with an veteran's neglect and abuse lawyer serving Atlanta, call (800) 794-0444
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
When visiting your loved one in a nursing home, it is crucial to be observant and aware of signs of abuse or neglect as outlined by an article from U.S. News & World Report. The following are warning signs that nursing home staff could be providing bad or abusive care:
- You ask staff questions but find that they are evasive or avoid providing a satisfactory answer. For example, if you notice your father has lost a substantial amount of weight, staff should provide you with a plan of action when you ask about it. A nonresponse or a blanket statement such as “This happens with a lot of elderly people” is unacceptable.
- When staff seem harried or disorganized, this could be a sign that the facility is understaffed. This is a common problem with nursing homes, and it frequently leads to patient neglect or abuse. High turnover of staff at a nursing home can be another red flag.
- Your loved one does not appear to be bathing regularly. If staff is not ensuring that residents are not bathing regularly and maintaining personal hygiene, they might also be skipping other routine caregiving.
- You notice a drastic change in personality of your loved one. Perhaps they are no longer socializing with other residents, or they act fearful of a particular staff member.
- Rapid weight loss is another sign of possible abuse or neglect. Your loved one may not be eating—or staff might not be serving all meals.
- There are unexplained injuries such as scratches, bruises, or worse. You need to find out what the cause is—accidents or physical abuse.
- Bedsores are almost always avoidable, and when pressure wounds appear, it is an indicator that staff is not moving immobile patients frequently enough.
If you notice any of these signs of nursing home abuse or neglect, your first step is to alert the facility’s administration, who must rectify the situation. When this is not done to your satisfaction, you can contact a government-appointed investigator about the situation. You can also look into the services of an Atlanta veteran’s neglect and abuse lawyer to ensure that your loved one receives justice.
Atlanta Veteran's Neglect and Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Contact an Atlanta Veteran’s Neglect and Abuse Lawyer
If your loved one is a veteran who is in a nursing home and you suspect there is neglect or abuse on the part of staff, you should contact an Atlanta veteran’s neglect and abuse lawyer. It is crucial to pursue these cases not only to help your loved one in this situation but to help others who might also be experiencing neglect or abuse.
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm might be able to help by providing you with a free, no-obligation case review. Call us today to learn more about the next steps that might be available. The sooner you act, the sooner you can help to improve nursing home conditions for your loved one.