How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in Savannah
Seek Guidance from Jamie Casino Injury Attorneys
Nursing home abuse is a terrible and devastating situation. Sadly, incidents of nursing home abuse are on the rise all over the country. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, they might have come in contact with abuse or neglect already. Our Savannah nursing home abuse attorneys can help you file a claim and pursue the compensation you deserve. If you or your loved one is suffering at the hands of abusive or neglectful staff members, we will put our foot down and make sure your voice is heard.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Stopping nursing home abuse is imperative to the health and well-being of the facility’s residents. The first step in stopping nursing home abuse is being able to spot the signs that it is occurring. This requires paying close attention to the physical signs and the resident’s behavior.
Some signs of nursing home abuse and/or neglect include:
- Bedsores, pressure sores, or dermal ulcers
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Lesions, bruises, cuts, abrasions, or other physical wounds
- Swelling in the face or body
- Ragged, stained, malodorous, or otherwise unclean clothing
- Infections on the body or genital area
- Burns, rashes, or skin irritation
- Broken bones or frozen joints
- Medical issues that are unrelated to the resident’s prior health records
- Drastic increase in medical problems
- Unexplained bleeding
- Sudden weight loss
- Depression, anxiety, confusion, or rage
- Withdrawal from staff members, family, or others
- Frantic behavior or extreme mood changes
- Abnormally quiet or suddenly shy
- Thoughts of suicide
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
If you do witness or suspect abuse in a nursing home, you can file a report and send it to an authority who can enact change or work toward stopping the abuse. The sooner you act, the sooner the abuse can be stopped, and the better it looks on your part should you choose to file a case against the nursing home facility.
It is also wise to speak with our Savannah nursing home abuse attorneys about your legal options and whether you have a valid claim. If you do choose to file a nursing home abuse report, it should be in writing, dated and copied for your records. It’s also important to be as thorough and descriptive as you can. When you are ready to send the report, send it to your local or state police, ombudsman, the nursing home director, or Adult Protective Services.
In the report, you should include the following:
- Name, age, and address of the victim
- Name of the nursing home facility
- Name of the people overseeing the victim’s care
- Description of the person or persons you believe is responsible for mistreatment
- Nature of harm inflicted upon the resident
- Any physical signs or other evidence that the abuse took place
- How long you believe the abuse or neglect has been occurring, if you know
- Place in which the incident took place (location of facility, within facility, etc.)
- Time and date of the incident, or a timeframe you believe it to have been occurring
Nursing Home Resident Rights
Nursing home residents have certain rights afforded them by law which cannot be taken away. Just because a nursing home resident requires a certain level of care and attention, doesn’t mean that they should not be allowed happiness, privacy, or fair treatment.
The Nursing Home Reform Amendments of OBRA 1987 mandate that nursing homes “promote and protect the rights of each resident.” These rights must be displayed in an easily visible and attainable location within the nursing home along with the phone number for the state’s long-term care ombudsman.
The Nursing Home Reform Amendments aim to maintain:
- Quality of life through self-esteem and self-determination
- Provision of services and activities to promote a strong body and mind
- Participation in facility administration requirements
- Guaranteed access to the ombudsman program to promote the easy availability of resources needed to ensure issues are resolved and individual rights maintained
Nursing home residents are also afforded by law the right to:
- Personal and privacy rights
- Protection from nursing home abuse and being improperly restrained
- Their own medical information and notice of plans
- Have visits from physicians, family, friends, and certain representatives
- Proper transferal and discharge from the facility
- Certain knowledge before a transfer
- Protection of personal funds
- Protection against Medicaid discrimination
Elderly Abuse Statistics
Statistics show that in recent years, cases of nursing home abuse and neglect have been on the rise. A disturbing trend revealed in studies done by the National Center on Elder Abuse shows that between the years of 1986 and 1994, the number of cases of elderly abuse in nursing homes doubled from 120,000 to 240,000.
Some contributing factors to these increases in nursing home abuse include:
- A growing number of senior citizens in America
- Longer lifespans of current seniors due to advances in healthcare technology
- Increased accessibility to healthcare made possible by Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security
- Nursing homes being filled to capacity
- Second-rate nursing homes being built to satiate increasing demand for assisted living facilities
As cases of nursing home abuse continue to climb, the legal community has congregated to take action and protect senior citizens. In 1987, the federal government modified the Older Americans Act and outlined the minimum requirements allowable for standards of health, safety, and patient independence. The government also clearly defined what constitutes elderly abuse, neglect, and exploitation and set in place the ramifications should they occur in a nursing home facility.
Call Jamie Casino Injury Attorneys Now
If you require more information about a possible case you may have regarding nursing home abuse or neglect, do not hesitate to speak with our Savannah nursing home abuse attorneys. Act now to ensure the greatest chance at compensation for your loved one and for a quicker end to their suffering.
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