If you believe that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, you need to be aware of your options. Use this website to find important information that you will need at this traumatic time. What’s more, you can give our office a call so that we can assist you going forward.
Although the terms abuse and neglect are often used interchangeably, there is an important distinction between the two. Abuse commonly refers to nursing home staff deliberately doing something to harm a resident, such as when an aid slaps a resident because he or she is frustrated with the resident’s behavior. Neglect, on the other hand, refers to a failure on the part of nursing home staff to provide adequate care to a resident, such as when bedpans or sheets are not changed in a timely fashion, or when a bedridden resident is not turned over frequently enough to avoid them developing bedsores. Whether it be by abuse or neglect, your loved one’s mistreatment should not go unaddressed.
What happens if the nursing home is responsible?
Placing a loved one in a nursing home is often a very difficult decision to make. You are entrusting the facility and its staff with the well-being of your loved one and when mistakes happen, the results can be devastating. When a nursing home resident is abused or neglected, the nursing home facility and its staff can be held accountable for mistreating your loved one. You may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the responsible nursing home to recover damages and expenses related to the abuse and/or neglect your loved one has suffered and to prevent the behavior from happening again.
What Georgia agency regulates nursing facilities
If you are not acquainted with Georgia’s nursing home regulations, how will you really know when something is wrong, or when your loved one is being provided with sub-standard care? When you have a loved one in a nursing home in Georgia, you need to be acquainted with Georgia’s nursing home regulations – or at the very least, know how to find and reference them when needed.
To begin with, you should know that nursing homes in Georgia are regulated by The Department of Community Health through its Healthcare Facility Regulation Division, which, amongst other things, was created to oversee and ensure the safety, accessibility, and affordability of nursing home services, by way of effective and efficient planning and regulation. The Healthcare Facility Regulation Division was established in 2009 and consists of the Office of Facility Licensure, which regulates, licenses, certifies, and supervises of more than 15, 000 health care facilities in Georgia, including nursing home facilities.
We are Schenk Smith, your Conyers nursing home lawyers.
If you or a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a Conyers, GA nursing home, you are visiting the right website. Schenk Smith LLC is the highest rated Google reviewed law firm in Georgia that specializes in nursing home law and we consistently we receive a great deal of enthusiastic and positive feedback from our clients. Our practice is devoted exclusively to nursing home abuse and neglect cases, which ensures the highest level of service and commitment to our clients. Whether you reside in the vicinity of Black Shoals Park or Johnson Park, or near Lewis Vaughn Botanical Gardens, contact us today to schedule an appointment, where we will pay you a visit to discuss your case.
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Conyers, Georgia- What you need to know.
Conyers, Georgia is located in Rockdale County and has a population of 15,682 residents. Of those, 10.70% are aged 65 and older. Nursing home abuse and neglect is as much a problem in Conyers as it is elsewhere in the country.
Are there signs of nursing home abuse?
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is a growing problem across the nation. To help fight this troublesome trend, the National Center on Elder Abuse has put together a list of warning signs that could indicate a problem.
While one sign alone may not indicate abuse, you should remember the following:
- Unexplained bruises, abrasions, burns, and broken bones may be a sign of physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment.
- Bruises around the breast or genitals may indicate sexual abuse.
- Bedsores, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss might indicate possible neglect.
That being said, abuse is not always indicated by physical symptoms. Unexplained withdrawal from regular activities or a change in alertness, as well as sudden paranoia, depression, or extreme irritability, may be signs of emotional abuse. Moreover, a sudden change in your loved one’s financial situation may be the result of financial exploitation.
Are there specific injuries that occur the most?
One of the most common injuries that occur to nursing home abuse and neglect victims is Stage 4 bedsores. These are usually found on pressure points of a patient’s body––the tailbone and heels are the most common areas where these ulcers develop and worsen. Bedsores can become very deep, move to the bone, and become infected. When severely infected, amputation is sometimes the last resort.
Another type of injury common to victims of nursing home abuse and neglect is broken or fractured bones that are the result of the resident falling down. Most often these fractures occur to a fallen resident’s hip or arm. Injuries such as these require immediate medical attention to address the need for reduction, internal fixation, or pinning of the limb before it begins to heal.
Other common injuries that occur to victims of nursing home abuse and neglect include excessive back, neck, or head injuries, and in cases of physical abuse, broken noses and fracture of the orbital bone or medial wall.
Why is there so much nursing home abuse?
There are several reasons why nursing home abuse is such a problem in Georgia nursing home facilities, most notably, understaffing. In other words, there are just not enough people working at the nursing home facility to properly care for your loved one. The problem with this is that it leads to a general lack of care for all of the residents of the facility, which results in bedsores and often more devastating results.
Other causes of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Improperly trained staff
- Unqualified staff
- Healthcare workers who are overworked and/or who do not understand a patient needs nor how to treat them.
- A lack of accountability––abused and neglected residents are often afraid to report their mistreatment, which allows the nursing home and its staff to get away it time after time.
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, get help immediately. Elder Abuse is illegal and the consequences can be devastating for your loved one and your entire family. Contact an attorney, as soon as possible, to find out what legal remedies you have to address the issue.
My loved one was hurt in a Conyers nursing home- What do I do next?
If your loved one was severely injured or passed away at a Conyers, Georgia nursing home, then we recommend that you act as soon as possible to protect your loved one’s rights.
First, report the incident to the appropriate Georgia authorities
Georgia Department of Community Health
The Georgia Department of Community Health oversees nursing home services in the state through its Healthcare Facility Regulation Division, which regulates the licensing, certification, and supervision of health care facilities in Georgia, including nursing homes.
You can file a complaint with the Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation online by clicking this link. Here is additional contact information:
Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation
Complaint Hotline: (800) 878-6442
Complaint Fax: (404) 657-5731
Georgia Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman
The Georgia Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman monitors the condition of nursing home facilities, educates the community on issues regarding nursing home residents, advocates for change, and provides assistance to those who are concerned about the well-being of a resident of a particular nursing home or long-term care facility.
You can file a complaint with the Georgia Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman online by clicking on this link. Here is additional contact information:
1743 Hardin Avenue
College Park, GA 30337-2059
Tel: (678) 378-2934
Fax: (404) 768-8512
You may also report physical assault or abuse to local law enforcement
Many of the behaviors that may constitute nursing home abuse, such as striking, hitting, shoving, rape, and financial exploitation may also constitute criminal acts. If you believe that your loved one has been the victim of abusive behavior that amounts to criminal conduct, bring it to the attention of the District Attorney’s Office: Rockdale Judicial District.
City of Conyers Police Department
1194 Scott St SE
Conyers, GA 30012, USA
Telephone: (770) 483-6600
Rockdale County Sheriff
922 Court St, Rm. 107
Conyers, GA 30012
Telephone: (770) 278-8000
District Attorney’s Office: Rockdale Judicial District
922 Court St NE
Conyers, GA 30012
Telephone: (770) 278-7990
Find another facility for your loved one.
Depending on the severity of the circumstance, it may be necessary for you to find a different nursing home to accommodate your loved one. Choosing a better nursing home for your loved one may not be an easy task, but it is an important decision that often has to be made.
It’s important to the well being of your loved one that you find a safe and a quality nursing home that will ensure that they receive the best possible care. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has created a website to help those in need identify quality nursing homes and to compare them with ease and confidence.
This website compiles data on every nursing home in the country and rates them on a five-star basis. The CMS’ Nursing Home Compare Website is completely free and will help you find a nursing home that fits your needs and budget.
For your convenience, a list of all nursing homes located within Conyers, Georgia is located below, along with their contact information and inspection scores.
Get the medical records from the hospital and the nursing home.
One of the most important pieces of evidence in any nursing home abuse and neglect case are the resident’s medical records. Nursing homes and health care facilities are required by law to keep accurate records of the care a patient receives during his or her stay in the facility. This includes records of their admission to the facility, care plans, the particular treatment and care they receive, physicians orders, and other vital information.
Access to these medical records can be important to the success of your case and, in many cases, having the legal authority to obtain these medical records on behalf of a loved one who was (or is) a resident of a nursing home is indispensable. Therefore, one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your loved is receiving the appropriate care in a nursing home and to have access to their medical records is to have a valid power of attorney that authorizes you to act on your loved one’s behalf.
This document is fairly simple to fill out and have signed by your loved one, but can make a huge difference in your ability to participate in your loved one’s care and to request and obtain copies of their medical records when needed.
If your loved one suffered injuries in a Conyers nursing home, it is likely that they were treated in one of the following hospitals. Use the respective contact information to request information and the necessary medical records.
Begin the probate process if your loved one has passed away.
When a person is injured due to the negligence or recklessness of another, they are entitled to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties to recover compensation for their injuries and losses. When a person dies as a result of another’s negligence or recklessness, their estate may bring a “Survival Claim” against the liable parties to recover compensation for the deceased person’s medical bills, funeral costs, and pain and suffering before death.
In Georgia, the executor who is named in the deceased person’s will may bring the survival claim against the liable parties on behalf of the decedent’s estate. If the decedent dies without a will, the administrator who has been appointed by the probate court to oversee the distribution of the decedent’s estate brings the lawsuit.
Therefore, if your loved one died without a valid will in place, you will most likely need to have a probate case initiated before a survival claim can be filed.
Rockdale County Probate Court
922 Court St, Rm. 107
Conyers, GA 30012
Nursing Homes in Conyers, Georgia
Finding a good nursing home for your loved one may seem like a daunting task, but there a number of online resources, like CMS’ Nursing Home Compare Website, that can make it easier. Here is a list of nursing homes in Conyers, Georgia taken from CMS’s website:
1510 Renaissance Drive
Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)
Number of Beds: 102
Number of Residents: 89.9
RN hours per resident per day: Not Available (GA Avg: 24 min)
Health Inspections Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)
Staff Rating: Not Available
Quality Measure Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)
Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 11-09-/2017
Number of Health Citations: 0
Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2
Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting citation: 1
Federal fines in previous 3 years: 1 ($23,213 fine on 10-13-2016)
1420 Milstead Road
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)
Number of Beds: 173
Number of Residents: 161.9
RN hours per resident per day: 14min (GA Avg: 24 min)
Health Inspections Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)
Staff Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)
Quality Measure Rating: 5 out of 5 (Much Above Average)
Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 07-27-2017
Number of Health Citations: 4
Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2
Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting citation: 0
Federal fines in previous 3 years: 0
Why Choose Schenk Smith as your Nursing Home Lawyers?
Schenk Smith, LLC are qualified Georgia trial lawyers whose practice focuses solely on nursing home law. This means that we are dedicated to achieving and maintaining the highest level of skill and expertise in this practice area and to providing the victims of nursing home abuse and neglect and their families with:
- Personal attention;
- Personal service; and
- The highest quality of legal advocacy
Need More Reasons Why You Should Choose Us?
- We have seen firsthand the tragedy that can result when a nursing home or its staff fall below the proper standards of care. Before becoming a top-rated Georgia nursing home law attorney, founding attorney Will Smith worked as a Certified Nurses Assistant in Georgia nursing homes for 10 years.
- Our attorneys have been selected as Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Stars for excellence in the practice of nursing home law. Super Lawyers is a research-driven, peer influence attorney rating service that evaluates attorneys across the country for its annual list of top attorneys.
Super Lawyers selects only those attorneys who exhibit excellence in their legal practice. Only the top 5% of attorneys are selected to Super Lawyers and only the top 2.5% are selected to Rising Stars. So, when you see a lawyer selected by Super Lawyers, you know they are doing something extremely well to earn it.
- Over the last two years, Schenk Smith, LLC has recovered millions of dollars for its clients.
If your loved one was injured or died in a Conyers, Georgia nursing home, please call us at Schenk Smith (678) 823-7678