Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many different forms. Some of the most common types of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Physical abuse, including being assaulted or roughly handled by nursing home personnel
- Mental, emotional, and verbal abuse, including being yelled at, taunted, or disparaged
- Sexual abuse, ranging from unwanted touching to rape
- Neglect, which can result in malnutrition, dehydration, physical injuries from falls, poor hygiene, and infections
- Self-neglect, which occurs when an elder person is unable to care for themselves and fails or refuses (usually due to underlying mental health issues such as dementia) to seek appropriate care
- Financial exploitation, in which an abuser can steal an elder person’s property and finances or place themselves in the elder’s estate plan to receive money
No matter what kind of abuse or neglect your loved one has endured, the Cherokee County senior abuse lawyers at Geiger Legal Group, LLC can help you and your family protect your loved one’s rights and health.
Signs of Abuse or Neglect in Seniors
If you and your family have a loved one in a nursing home, you may wonder what you should be looking out for as signs that your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect in Canton.
Some of the warning signs of abuse and/or neglect in seniors include:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, broken bones, and other injuries
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Infections or sexually-transmitted diseases
- Poor hygiene
- Unexplained and radical changes in behavior, including withdrawal, depression, or anger or aggression
- Fear or anxiety around nursing home personnel
- Fear of being left alone
- Nursing home personnel or other caregivers attempting to isolate the elder person from family and visitors
- Sudden changes in the elder’s finances
- Such as unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts or changes to powers-of-attorney or estate planning documents, or other missing personal property
Elder abuse can occur in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or even in the senior’s own home. Although women, seniors of particularly advanced age, and elders with mental health (especially dementia) and substance abuse issues have the greatest risk of being victimized by abuse or neglect, any senior can suffer abuse or neglect.
Elder abuse and neglect can result in medical, emotional, and financial damages including:
- Severely increased risk of death compared to seniors not abused or neglected
- Increased medical costs
- Financial losses
- Increased hospitalizations
- Infliction of additional or worsened disabilities and medical issues
- Increased likelihood that an abused elder ends up in a nursing home
If you and your family see any of the signs of abuse or neglect in your loved one, you should move quickly to protect your loved one from further abuse and neglect and to start to hold those responsible for the abuse and neglect accountable.
What Do I Do If I Think a Family Member Is Being Abused or Neglected in a Nursing Home?
If you believe that your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect in a nursing home, steps that your family should be taking to protect your loved one and to defend their rights and interests include:
- If you believe your loved one is in immediate danger of harm or life-threatening injuries, you can always call 911 to have police and emergency medical services protect your loved one.
- You should inform the nursing home or facility where your loved one resides about your suspicions of abuse or neglect, especially if you believe the abuse or neglect is being committed by a particular staff member.
- If necessary, you should remove your loved one from the nursing home or environment where you believe they are being abused or neglected. This may mean moving your loved one to another nursing home or care facility or moving your loved one in with a family member or friend for the time being. A nursing home abuse attorney can help you with this process if the nursing home or facility where your loved one resides is creating difficulties in moving your loved one. Your attorney can also help you secure your loved one’s medical records from the facility.
- You should report abuse and neglect the Georgia Division of Aging Services and the Georgia Department of Community Health’s Healthcare Facility Regulation, as well as to local and state ombudsmen. If abuse or neglect was the result of criminal activity, you can also contact local police or the local district attorney’s office, who may decide to file criminal charges.
- Finally, you should consult with an experienced nursing home attorney. Your attorney can direct you to resources that will help you to protect your loved one in the short term. An attorney can also help you through the process of asserting a legal claim for compensation for the harm and damages that your loved one has endured, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost quality of live.
What Is the Process of Seeking Recovery in a Senior Abuse Case?
If your loved one has suffered damages as a result of being the victim of abuse or neglect, you and your family may be able to obtain a financial recovery for your loved one to help pay for the costs of recovery and to provide some measure of justice. The process of a senior abuse or neglect claim typically begins with investigating the abuse or neglect to uncover the evidence needed to build a strong legal claim.
At Geiger Legal Group, we often work with medical professionals and other experts to show how your loved one suffered from abuse and how the negligence of parties like a nursing home or care facility caused the harm.
We will aggressively negotiate with the responsible parties to get your loved one and your family the financial compensation you need and deserve as efficiently as possible. Of course, we also fully prepared to take your case to trial, if necessary, to fight to get you the full and fair financial recovery your family deserves.
Finally, if your loved one has passed away due to nursing home abuse or neglect, it will be necessary to begin the probate process for your loved one’s estate so that your family can assert your deceased loved one’s legal claims against those responsible for the abuse or neglect.
How Can I Afford to Pay a Lawyer for a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?
If you have a loved one who has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may want to bring a lawsuit against those responsible for harming your loved one, but you may think that you don’t have the financial resources to hire an attorney to represent you and your family.
Fortunately, most nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers work on a contingency-fee-basis. This means that you and your family do not need to pay the attorney unless and until the attorney secures a financial recovery for your family, whether through a settlement or a verdict at trial.
The attorney will usually receive a percentage of the total financial compensation obtained. Also, your attorney will usually front the costs of a nursing home abuse lawsuit, such as court fees, medical examination costs, and expert witness fees. Those costs will be recouped from your financial recovery, or they may be rolled into the attorney’s total fee.
Hiring a nursing home abuse or neglect attorney on a contingency-fee-basis means that you will have an attorney who will use all their experience, knowledge, and resources to win your case since their payment directly depends on getting you the compensation you deserve rather than simply racking up billable hours.
Why Choose Geiger Legal?
When your family is pursuing a nursing home abuse or neglect claim, hiring a personal injury attorney to represent your family is an important decision. You need an attorney that you can trust and who has a proven track record of experience, knowledge, and results. Your attorney needs to take the time to get to know you and your family and understand your concerns, goals, and needs.
At Geiger Legal Group, we strive to form genuine connections with all our clients so that we can provide each client with the focused support that they and their families need and deserve. We work diligently to build an effective, thoughtful legal strategy that gives our clients the best chance at recovering maximum compensation.
If your family has a loved one that was victimized by nursing home abuse or neglect, contact Geiger Legal Group today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the details of your case and to learn more about your legal rights and options.