If you believe that your loved one has been injured by a Powder Springs nursing home, we are here to help. Unfortunately, the elderly population is particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect. We’ve constructed our website to be a comprehensive resource for learning how to fight back in cases of injuries or death related to nursing home abuse and neglect. Our site offers a wealth of information, but we encourage you to call us to discuss the details of your case as well.
Abuse and neglect are two distinct problems in nursing home environments. In cases of abuse, a resident has been harmed on purpose. An example would be a staff member hitting a resident or harming them sexually. Claims of neglect, on the other hand, stem from harm that is done without intent. A staff member might forget to change a dirty catheter, resulting in an infection, for example. A neglected patient might receive the wrong medication or slip when walking to the bathroom because they were unattended.
Resident abuse and neglect are both unacceptable. We’re here to help you and your loved one.
What is the typical nursing home abuse case like?
Emotional abuse is the most frequently reported type of abuse in nursing homes. This type of abuse is defined as the infliction of mental distress or pain on an elderly resident through verbal or nonverbal acts. Examples can be trying to intimidate a resident, calling a resident names, or shouting at a resident. This kind of harm can be more difficult to detect because emotional abuse does not usually leave physical evidence, and if there was no witness it may not be clear that anything happened. Still, it can lead to physical or behavioral changes in a resident, such as weight loss or emotional withdrawal.
Physical abuse is also common in long-term care facilities. When a patient has injuries they cannot explain, this may be a sign of physical abuse. Cuts, burns, fractures, bruises, and grip marks should always be investigated, as should bloody, stained, or torn linens or clothing. Behavioral changes such as fear of certain staff or emotional instability may also point to abuse. If a resident is isolating him or herself from others in a way that is unusual, this may also be a sign.
Cases of financial exploitation are also found in long-term care facilities. In this type of abuse, staff may steal money or possessions, coerce a resident to sign checks or documents, or forge a resident’s signature. When facilities fail to conduct proper background checks for or provide adequate supervision of staff, this kind of abuse is more likely to occur.
Am I required to file a lawsuit?
The decision on what action to take in the event of nursing home abuse rests with every individual family. However, filing a lawsuit can be advantageous. You will have help figuring out what level of compensation the nursing home owes your family due to the distress caused to your loved one. The jury will decide this number. And you won’t have to fight to get paid because the court will order the facility to pay, with repercussions if they fail to do so.
Because taking legal action can be intimidating, many people who allege that their loved one has been abused give up before filing a lawsuit. Although nursing homes are required to provide recompense to families of abused residents, it often takes the threat of a lawsuit or an actual lawsuit for them to actually do so.
We are dedicated to making sure the abuse or neglect of your family member does not go unpunished.
We are Schenk Smith, your Powder Springs nursing home lawyers.
Many personal injury lawyers try to “do it all,” handling any case that comes through the door. Not us. We take nursing home and neglect cases exclusively, allowing us to be highly knowledgeable in this area. We will advocate tirelessly for your loved one.
Take a moment to watch some of our FAQ videos, read our blog posts, and watch or listen to our podcast. Feel free to call us to schedule a free consultation—we’ll come to you anywhere in Powder Springs. Whether you live near the Seven Springs Museum, Wild Horse Creek Park, or the Cumberland Creek Country Club, we’ve got you covered.
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Powder Springs, Georgia – What you need to know.
Powder Springs, Georgia is located in Cobb County and has a population of 14,596 residents. Of those, 10.6% are aged 65 and older. Unfortunately, as in all Georgia cities, nursing home abuse and neglect are not uncommon here.
Am I allowed to make decisions on my loved one’s behalf?
One of the hardest things about aging is that we often lose the ability to make decisions regarding our own welfare. If a resident has had a stroke or is showing signs of dementia, they may no longer be able to act in their own best interest. It’s important to have a plan in place before this occurs so that the resident will be in good hands if they begin to experience cognitive decline.
People can complete various kinds of legal paperwork to designate someone to act on their behalf. In most cases, this will be a spouse or other family member. Power of Attorney is a good option for many residents. It allows the appointed representative to handle financial matters or file legal paperwork on the resident’s behalf.
Guardianship or conservatorship documentation also allows an appointed representative to take certain actions for the resident, such as filing a lawsuit. A guardian or conservator is usually appointed by a county probate court.
When possible, families with a relative in a nursing home should talk about these matters while the resident is still able make decisions for their own welfare. This way, when the representative is needed later on, you will feel reassured that you are proceeding in accordance with their wishes. It will also ensure that you will not encounter bureaucratic delays due to initiating paperwork in the event that you need to take legal action.
How do nursing homes prevent falls?
Falls are the most common source of injury in nursing homes, but thankfully, they are presentable. One of the keys to making sure residents don’t fall is recognizing that fall risks are individual to each resident. A personalized care plan should be made for each person living in a nursing home, and it should include measures to minimize falling. If a patient is weak or prone to dizziness, for instance, they should be supervised and given assistance when moving to the bathroom, for example. Providing walkers for safe movement and adding guardrails to beds will be essential for many residents.
Environmental factors are also very important to minimizing fall risks. Slippery floors can be very hazardous, as can low lighting. Making sure that lightbulbs are replaced when needed and that residents are guided away from recently cleaned floors is imperative.
All of these precautions are more likely to be effectively implemented when a facility is properly staffed and trained. Some patients are extremely unstable, requiring nearly constant supervision. When a nursing home cuts corners in staffing, it may simply not be possible to give the kind of attention that will put a stop to fall-related injuries. Training is also key. Staff who do not know what to watch out for will not be able to act quickly enough to avert falls.
How do I find a new nursing home for my loved one?
When considering a long-term care facility for your loved one, you’ll be best served by doing some research—through word of mouth, online, and through in-person visits. You may want to begin by asking people you trust in the area who you know have recently moved a loved one into a facility. The Georgia Department of Human Services website and the Nursing Home Compare Website offer many reviews of and statistics about area facilities to help you narrow down your list.
The next step will be to visit the facilities that top your list. A nursing home that looks great on paper may be disappointing in person. Ask lots of questions and be wary of any facility that seems unwelcoming or hesitant to give you clear answers. Find out the nurse-to-resident ratio and ask to see as much of the facility as possible. Visit the kitchen and learn about meal schedules and cuisine served. Does the facility offer programs and outings for the residents? Do there seem to be plentiful, engaged staff? Is it well-lit and free of obstacles?
Talk with residents, staff, and management if possible. Ask the management for direct information about resident safety. If they give you unclear information or seem hesitant to discuss safety concerns, this is not the home for your loved one.
My loved one was hurt in a Powder Springs nursing home – What do I do next?
If your loved one was severely injured or passed away at a Powder Springs, 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’s Healthcare Facility Regulation investigates nursing homes for neglect and abuse. Their offices also regulate and certify nursing homes in Georgia.
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
A Long-Term Care Ombudsman is another powerful advocate in cases of suspected nursing home abuse. Ombudsmen are liaisons between residents and facility staff, and you may file a complaint on behalf of a resident through them at the Georgia Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Certified and trained by the State Office, Ombudsmen work to improve living conditions for residents.
You can file a complaint with the Georgia Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman online by clicking on this link. Here is additional contact information:
225 Cameron Road
McDonough, Georgia 30253
You may also report physical assault or abuse to local law enforcement
If you believe your loved one suffered abuse or neglect at a nursing home, you will likely want to file a police report. Criminal charges may then be made against the responsible party by the Cobb Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
City of Powder Springs Police Department
1114 Richard D. Sailors Parkway
Powder Springs, GA 30127
Telephone: (770) 943-1616
Cobb County Sheriff’s Department
185 Roswell Street
Marietta, GA 30090
Telephone: (770) 499-4600
Cobb Judicial District Attorney’s Office
70 Haynes Street
Marietta, GA 30090
Telephone: (770) 528-3080
Find another facility for your loved one.
If possible, try to relocate your loved one in a better facility, particularly if the abuse or neglect is severe. Talk to your network and do online research to learn about the nursing homes in your area. The Nursing Home Compare website from the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rates on a five-star scale every federally funded facility in the country on criteria such as staff quality and nurse-to-resident ratio.
For your convenience, a list of all nursing homes located within Powder Springs, Georgia is located below, along with their contact information and inspection scores.
Get the medical records from the hospital and the nursing home.
To win a lawsuit for abuse or neglect, you’ll need to prove that the injury to your loved one was caused by the actions (or inaction) of the nursing home and did not result from other medical problems. To defend themselves, nursing homes will try to insist that a resident’s medical problems occurred independently of their care at the facility. For this reason, you’ll need access to the resident’s full medical records, which will show the cause, diagnosis, and treatment of their injuries. You’ll need primary care, hospital, and nursing home records to get the full picture of what happened to the resident.
Since patient health information is protected by federal law, you’ll need legal authorization—typically durable power of attorney or guardianship paperwork, to acquire these records.
If your loved one was abused or neglected in a Powder Springs nursing home, the hospital below is likely to have their medical records. After securing legal authorization, submit a request to the Release of Information Department of the hospital. The contact information for these departments are provided below:
Begin the probate process if your loved one has passed away.
A person’s rights do not terminate when they pass away. If your loved one suffered a wrongful death, legal action can still be taken on their behalf through an estate. To create an estate, the family or other loved ones of the resident will petition the probate court in the county where the resident passed away.
An executor, or administrator of the estate should be appointed to make decisions on behalf of the deceased. This person—usually a close family member—will handle all decisions related to a lawsuit.
Cobb County Probate Court
32 Waddell Street
Marietta, GA 30090
Telephone: (770) 528-1900
Nursing Homes in Powder Springs, Georgia
Looking for a new nursing home for a resident is one of the first things you’ll want to do in a case of abuse or neglect. The new facility will need to be close by, trustworthy, and well-staffed, and it will most likely need to take Medicare and Medicaid. There are not many nursing homes in Powder Springs, so you may want to also search nearby areas such as Kennesaw, Mableton, and Smyrna. Take some time to browse the website created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which ranks every federally funded nursing home in the country. You’ll find nursing homes in your area rated by criteria such as quality of care, staff-to-resident ratio, and inspection scores.
When you’ve found a facility that appears to suit your needs, be sure to visit before making any decisions. Nursing homes that look good on paper may give a different impression when you visit in person. Speak with the staff and residents, if possible, to get a feeling of the atmosphere. Ask for a tour so you can take note of different aspects of the facility, and if personnel seem “too busy” to help you, consider a different place.
3460 Powder Springs Road
Powder Springs, GA 30127
Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 (Much Below Average)
Number of Beds: 208
Number of Residents: 178
RN hours per resident per day: 17min (GA Avg: 34min)
Health Inspection Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)
Staff Rating: 1 out of 5 (Much Below Average)
Quality Measure Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)
Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 01-25-2018
Number of Health Citations: 2
Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2
Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting in citation: 2
Federal fines in previous 3 years: 0
Why Choose Schenk Smith as your Nursing Home Lawyers?
- Experts in our field: We believe in doing one thing exceptionally and do not aim to cover all kinds of law. Our only goal is to win restitution for nursing home residents and their families in cases of neglect and abuse. Our passion in this area comes from an authentic place—in fact, our founding attorney Will Smith worked as a CNA in nursing homes for ten years prior to becoming a lawyer.
- Advocates and Educators: Our mission to rectify cases of nursing home abuse doesn’t stop with our legal work. We also work to educate the greater community about issues facing the elderly population in Georgia through our Nursing Home Abuse video podcast, which we broadcast from our Atlanta office. For our nursing home advocacy in and out of the courtroom, we have been designated “Rising Stars” by the Super Lawyers legal recognition program.
- Client Recognition. Our clients frequently comment on our dedication and personal approach. Perhaps this is why we have the best Google reviews of any nursing home abuse law firm in the state of Georgia. Read our client reviews
If your loved one was injured or died in a Powder Springs, Georgia nursing home, please call us at Schenk Smith (678) 823-7678 for a free consultation. You can also check out hundreds of video FAQs on our website.