If you’re a loved one is a resident of a Georgia nursing home or assisted living facility, then your number one defense against abuse or neglect is to be involved. Go to the facility often. Ask questions. Learn the names of the nurses, doctors, and administrators. This way, you can stay on top of the health and well being of your loved one.
But how will you be able to tell if your loved one is being neglected? With regard to physical abuse, there will more than likely be outward, physical signs of injury. Look for unexplained bruises, cuts, abrasions, sprains. Has there been broken bones or dislocations? Pay attention to signs of restraint, like marks on the wrist or ankles. Does your loved one suddenly fear being touched? If you observe any of these signs, in conjunction with shifty or non-cooperative attitudes of the nursing home staff, then you may have an issue.
Other types of neglect and abuse are trickier to identify. With emotional or sexual abuse, often there will be a sudden and unexplained change in your loved one’s behavior. For example, sudden onset of nightmares or changes in sleep patterns. Irregular onset of interest in sexual matters or regression to childish behavior. Or, depression, mood swings, and acting out. Pay attention to your loved one’s behavior when you arrive and leave. If they exhibit fear as you leave, or are overly concerned with the goings-on of the staff, there may be an issue.
If you notice the signs of abuse or neglect, you will want to immediately report the issue to the nursing home administrators. You will also want to contact the Georgia Long Term Care Ombudsman office and the Georgia Department of Community Health.
The calls to the ombudsman and the Department of Community health are your first two calls. Your next call should be to an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. A lawyer will be able to help you and the authorities investigate the matter and pursue the appropriate claims against the wrongdoers.
If your loved one has been injured in a nursing home or assisted living facility, then please, feel free to call and speak to one of our experienced Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers today. Our consultations are always free.