If you’re looking for a nursing home abuse lawyer, you and your loved ones have already been through a terrible ordeal. No matter how often you visit or how many times you call, you can’t be present all the time. Families trust nursing home staff to look after and protect their loved ones when they can’t be there. Unfortunately, Georgia ranks among the worst states for nursing home abuse. Poor training, chronic understaffing, lack of supervision, burnout, and other problems can lead to inadequate care, neglect, and elder abuse. As a skilled nursing home abuse attorney, I want to help ensure your family member is defended, protected, and compensated for the harm that’s been done to them.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Types of nursing home abuse fall into four categories: physical, emotional, sexual, and financial.
Physical abuse in nursing home abuse cases is any forceful or physical act against a patient that causes physical injury or pain. This can include hitting, pushing, shoving, improperly restraining or tying down a patient, or any other action that causes physical harm to a patient. Caregivers are not allowed to use restraints for their own convenience or as a form of discipline. Restraints are only allowed for medical purposes or in an emergency. Symptoms of physical abuse include unexplained sores, bruises, cuts, or broken bones, and malnourishment, increased anxiety or depression, and fear of staff members.
Emotional abuse is any intentional act that causes trauma or emotional distress. Emotional abuse could be verbal attacks, degrading or humiliating a patient, isolating a patient from their family members or friends, victim blaming, yelling at a patient, or threatening or intimidating a patient. Symptoms of emotional abuse include depression, increased anxiety, loss of appetite or malnourishment, poor hygiene, agitation, antisocial or nonverbal behavior, and fear of staff members.
Sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual conduct between a caregiver and a patient. Sexual abuse can include unwanted physical contact as well as unwanted exposure of their bodies, coercing a patient to remove their clothing, or being forced to view any sexually explicit images or acts. Family members should be on the lookout for torn or ripped clothing, bruising or other injuries to the genitalia, and unexplained emotional or behavior changes. Because sexual abuse can cause severe physical or emotional trauma, symptoms of emotional and physical abuse can also indicate this form of abuse.
Financial abuse is any exchange of money from the patient to a caregiver through theft or coercion. This includes stealing property, cash, or financial documents like checks. Forging the patient’s signature on a check or financial statement, using a person’s credit cards or bank accounts without their consent, and forcing or coercing a patient to sign a will or deed transferring power of attorney or property is also considered financial abuse. Family members should look out for unusual activity on credit cards and back accounts, and the transference of any property or financial assets.