Elder Care Abuse and Negligence
Aging is a natural part of our life cycle that can bring much joy and satisfaction, such as grandchildren, retirement, and the wisdom that comes from living a long life. However, aging can also bring with it many challenges, such as declining health, mobility, and worries over next steps. Specifically, you might be concerned about what to do when your loved one might need an assisted living facility or a nursing home.
In this article, we’ll share the following in order to help you navigate your loved one’s assisted living or nursing home stay:
- Options and Concerns Regarding Elder Care in the State of Georgia, including what Elder Abuse and Neglect Look Like
- Protection for Georgia Elders
- How Marks Law Can Help if You Notice Elder Abuse or Neglect
Options and Concerns Regarding Elder Care in Georgia
If hiring a caregiver, assisted living, or a nursing home makes the most sense for you or your family member, you are likely concerned about your loved one receiving the best care possible.
Caregivers, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes can be found throughout our state, and there are many excellent options. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Many of the roughly 400 large facilities across Georgia offer quality service with dedicated caregivers.”
What Does Elder Abuse and Neglect Look Like?
Despite many excellent care options, neglect and abuse are concerns for the elderly and their loved ones.
The National Council for Elder Abuse (NCEA) cites a 2015 study by the New England Journal of Medicine, noting that the prevalence of elder abuse is approximately “10% including physical abuse, psychological or verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect.”
While elder abuse is reported more frequently in recent years, it is still underreported according to experts.
Dementia is a risk factor for abuse, as is low income, low social interaction, and prior abuse. Older adults in their late 50s and 60 and women are more likely to be abused, as are unmarried individuals and people of color.
Signs Abuse, Negligence, or Exploitation Might be Occurring
Another important resource for aging Georgians is the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services. Here, you can learn more about the types of abuse aging adults who cannot care for themselves might face. Additionally, you can report abuse through this website.
Here is a small list of signs that potential elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation might be occurring:
- Suspicious bruises, cuts, or other injuries
- Weight loss and dehydration
- Mental or emotional anguish
- Bedsores or rashes
- Personal hygiene or cleanliness concerns
- Lack of access to glasses, hearing aids, medications, or other essentials
- Unsanitary or unsafe living conditions
If you are looking to learn more about what kinds of abuse elders can be subjected to, facts about elder abuse can be obtained from many sources, including the Centers for Disease Control.
You might also consider a massive recent study from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which investigated senior facilities in Georgia and found over 600 cases of neglect.
The AJC found instances of seniors left in urine-soaked briefs, repeated falls with broken bones, unaswered calls for help, belittlement, sexual abuse, and more horrifying abuse and neglect than we care to mention here.
According to the AJC, “the worst offenses garnered nothing more from the state than a $601 fine.”
This is unacceptable.
Protection for Georgia Elders
Nursing home laws in Georgia exceed federal guidelines and will help insure a safe, clean, healthy environment for you and your loved ones.
According to the following list, which is taken from the Nursing Home Abuse Guide website, Georgia law affords nursing home residents the following rights:
- Right to Nondiscrimination – The patient should receive proper care no matter their age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, or source of payment for the facility.
- Right to Privacy – The patient has the right to enjoy privacy in the nursing facility unless this goes against medical needs. This should include the ability to close doors and windows to the individual rooms.
- Right to Freedom of Choice – It is required that the patient still have the right to control things in their own lives including the right to vote, the right to practice religion, the right to abstain from religious practices, and the right to choose who will manage their finances.
- Right to Proper Nutrition – All nursing facilities must employ someone who is qualified according to the American Dietetic Association. This person must ensure that all patients get the proper nutrition which includes three meals a day, with no more than a five-hour gap between each meal.
- Right to Freedom from Restraints – Patients have the right to be free from both physical and chemical restraints even in extreme circumstances. The nursing facility must have proper written consent from a physician before using restraints for any reason.
According to the same website, when a complaint is filed by a victim of abuse or the victim’s loved ones, elder care administrators must respond within three days. The state ombudsman would be the next person to notify if resolution is not reached.
However, if the abuse continues, or if the complaint is not resolved in a timely manner, you may need outside help. This is where we come in at Marks Law Group.
Marks Law Group and Elder Care
Marks Law Group can help with complaints about elder care abuse and neglect against assisted living and nursing home facilities or independent caregivers. We have the expertise and skill to hold responsible parties accountable–and this is something we take very, very seriously.
We hope you and your loved ones never experience anything like elder care abuse, but, if you do, we are here for you. Please find us online at https://markslawgroup.com/ or call us at 404-800-4972 to discuss your situation. We will gladly put all our resources to work to begin helping you immediately.