Nursing Home Negligence Attorney in Macon
As the average lifespan increases and one of the largest age populations in our country starts to enter the golden years, the problems with existing nursing homes only seems to worsen. Why is nursing home abuse and negligence such a problem?
- The strain on the existing system – Many nursing homes are at capacity, with waiting lists of patients. As a result, many health care providers are struggling to keep up with day-to-day demands.
- Lack of adequate training and oversight – Patients are the people who suffer when employees aren’t trained and managed properly.
- Lack of high-quality applicant screening – Some nursing homes employ non-discriminant hiring practices because they are chronically understaffed.
- Patient fear makes pinpointing perpetrators difficult – An elderly patient may be afraid to call out a caretaker because of threats, the fear of reprisal, or incapacity.
At Nelson & Smith, we understand how hard it is to decide to put a loved one in a nursing home, particularly when the potential for negligence is so high. However, we also believe that discovering misconduct and taking action are the best ways to help your family and others who may need nursing home services.
Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
Discovering signs of nursing home neglect and abuse can be difficult, because they may mimic medical conditions or the normal signs of aging. Here are some warning signs that may highlight the need for further investigation and action:
- Unexplained injuries – Unless your loved one has a history of behaviors that might cause injury, there is no reason why a patient should suffer serious bruising, fractures, lacerations, or breaks while in a nursing home.
- Fearful behaviors around staff members – If your loved one has difficulty talking about the staff/facility or seems uncomfortable around certain staff members, it could be a sign of abuse.
- Dementia and cognitive difficulty – Over-medication or under-medication could affect a patient’s ability to think or behave normally. Any sudden changes in mental clarity may be a sign of neglect or abuse.
- Significant weight loss – Malnutrition, dehydration, and unmonitored eating schedules are a serious concern for the elderly. Sometimes, refusing to eat is a sign that an elderly individual is ready to stop fighting, but it always warrants a second look in a nursing home environment.
- Bedsores – Neglect is the only rational explanation for bedsores on an elderly patient. Bedsores are painful and indicate very unsanitary conditions that could make a patient more susceptible to other infections.
How Your Attorney Can Help
Unfortunately, many owners run nursing homes like any other business. They want to improve their profit margins while reducing overhead expenses and labor costs. The resulting conditions encourage negligent behaviors that seriously harm patients. Meanwhile, family members receive outrageous monthly bills.
Family members and patients may not see the signs or only have a suspicion that something isn’t right. The longer you wait, the more harm your loved one may suffer. At Nelson & Smith, we help our clients read the signs and address the problem quickly. Our attorneys have access to a network of medical experts to determine the cost of living, suffering, and medical care for your loved one after a case of neglect or abuse.
We recommend you consult an attorney before trying to confront the nursing home. A facility that suspects a legal challenge may try to cover up instances of neglect. Our team is ready to help you find evidence of negligence and abuse and to hold the responsible party accountable. Contact an attorney at Nelson & Smith in Macon today.