Although we expect that the elderly are well cared for when they’re in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it’s sadly not the case as nursing home abuse is a fairly common occurrence, even here in Americus.
Call us at (229) 349-6291 if you suspect your loved one is suffering abuse. In the meantime, keep reading to learn how to report nursing home abuse in Georgia.
What is Considered Nursing Home Abuse?
There are many types of elder abuse that occurs in nursing homes. Most people think of the most obvious forms of elder abuse as physical, sexual, and verbal abuse, however although those still occur, there are other types of abuse that are prevalent in nursing homes.
- Neglect. Neglect can become abuse if it results in serious actual or possible harm. This might include not feeding a resident, withholding their medication, not providing medical care, and simply ignoring them.
- False imprisonment. False imprisonment could occur if the nursing home staff prevent a resident from leaving a certain area, such as their room or a wing of the facility, disables the resident by leaving them without their wheelchair or crutches, or threatens the resident with harm or deprivation of food or water.
- Financial abuse. A staff member of a nursing home could steal a resident’s personal property or information in order to withdraw money from the resident’s bank account or they might pressure a resident to modify a will, deed, or trust. Financial abuse can also come in the form of false fees or charges that deprive a resident of their income or savings.
Not all caregivers abide by the legal standards that are required of them which is why Georgia considers nursing home abuse a punishable crime under O.C.G.A. 30-5-8. In order to fully understand nursing home abuse, you also need to know the laws that protect the residents of those homes.
What Laws Protect Seniors In Nursing Homes?
Under O.C.G.A. 31-8-100, nursing home residents are entitled to the following:
- A safe, clean, comfortable, and homelike environment
- Nutritious meals
- Daily exercise
- Social activities
- Access to emergency health care, medication, and mental counseling (if needed)
- Peaceful, compassionate care, free of any form of abuse.
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in Georgia
Any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect that a vulnerable adult has been or is being abused, neglected, or exploited should report it immediately. Any person who is required to report child abuse under O.C.G.A. 19-7-5(c) is also required to report elder abuse.
According to Georgia code section 19-7-5 Subsection (c) certain people are required to report elder abuse, including:
- Physicians, interns, residents, nursing staff, hospital staff, and other medical personnel
- Psychologists, licensed professionals, counselors, and social workers
- School teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors
- Law enforcement personnel.
If you know or suspect that a caregiver or member of the nursing home staff has abused one of their residents, report the abuse right away. If you don’t receive a response or follow-up communication within 48 hours, you should consult an Americus nursing home abuse lawyer.
Methods of Reporting
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury and medical malpractice is two years.
When a Georgia nursing home abuse victim suffers injury due to a nursing home employee’s negligence or medical malpractice, the incident must be reported and investigated within two years of the incident.
You can report elder abuse in any of the following ways:
- File a Complaint online with the Department of Human Services’ Division of Aging Services or by calling 1-866-552-4464.
- Contact Georgia’s Healthcare Facility Regulation Division by calling 1-800-878-6442 or filing a complaint online.
- Call Georgia’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman at (866) 552-4464.
Hire a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If your loved one has been injured because of nursing home negligence or abuse, you’ll need an Americus nursing home abuse lawyer from The Shrable Law Firm to protect them. Our experienced lawyers will work hard to obtain rightful compensation for medical negligence and damages for pain and suffering.
Call us at (229) 349-6291 or contact us online for a free consultation.
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