Because of COVID-19 restrictions, it has been months since many of us have seen our older relatives who live in nursing homes. But that may soon change. Seniors in GA nursing homes are some of the first to get the new COVID vaccines, which means we may soon be able to return to regular nursing home visits.
Since it could easily be ten months if not a year since you have seen your friend or relative, take a few minutes to consider what care he or she has received while you have been away. If the treatment is severely underwhelming, that is when you will need a lawyer.
Here are the 4 things to look for that could indicate abuse:
Check the wrists and ankles. Bruising here can indicate restraints were used or that the patient had been grabbed severely. Medical treatment for the bruising can often reveal the possibility of mistreatment. Bruising of an unknown source can also show that falls occurred but were not reported.
Malnutrition and Dehydration
Is your loved one eating enough? Are they losing significant weight? The state requires that records be kept so the medical staff can tell if the senior is picking at or skipping meals. The nursing home should also be tracking fluid intake of the senior. Make sure that water and other drinks are readily available. A lack of nutrition and hydration can be a form of abuse. Lack of nutrition and hydration can also contribute to skin breakdown and complicate the senior’s ability to recover and overcome infections.
Do not accept falling as a part of getting older. Falls are preventable and can be devastating for the elderly. Nursing homes are required to recognize the possibility and adjust a patient’s care plan to prevent falls. Moreover, when falls with injuries occur, the family and the patient’s physician should be promptly notified.
Lack of Training or Staff
Though it is hard for a family member to know if the staff is receiving the proper training, you can often notice if the quality of care deteriorates when a new staff member begins working. You may also recognize that the facility does not have enough staff to adequately handle the number of residents. Lack of training and staff can lead to injuries.
Over my years of handling nursing home abuse cases, I have found that most staff members genuinely care about their patients. In fact, I have had staff members call me when they think a nursing home patient is mistreated.
If your family suffers a serious injury or wrongful death, you can talk to the Hawk Law Group for free. 706-444-4444. We want to help. We are working remotely and in-person but are always available.
Also, join us on News 12 LawCall here in Augusta every Sunday night at 11:30, right after the news. We are on tape during the COVID-19 epidemic but plan to be back live soon, taking your questions.
GA Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Attorney