When you entrust the care of an elderly loved one to a nursing home, you expect staff members to treat your loved one with dignity and respect and work hard to meet his or her physical, emotional and social needs.
Unfortunately, this often does not happen, resulting in abuse or neglect of residents and their needs. This includes physical, financial, emotional and sexual abuse.
That is why our Savannah nursing home abuse attorneys advise you to always be looking for any signs of abuse or neglect every time you see or talk to your loved one.
SIGNS OF NURSING HOME ABUSE
If you notice any of the following injuries or psychological issues with your loved one, it could be a sign of nursing home abuse:
- Injuries your loved one does not remember or cannot explain
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Mood swings
- Nervousness or anxiety around nursing home staff
You should also keep an eye on the conditions in the facility. For instance, a messy, unsanitary room is a classic sign of some form of abuse or neglect.
There could also be some form of financial abuse happening as well. Watch for the following signs:
- Missing money
- Unauthorized checks or credit card purchases
- Unpaid bills
- Forged financial documents
FILING A NURSING HOME ABUSE COMPLAINT
You can file a nursing home abuse complaint with the following agencies in Georgia:
DIVISION OF AGING SERVICES
This is a division of Georgia’s Department of Human Services that handles reports of abuse of the elderly or adults with disabilities.
There are two ways to file a complaint with this division:
- Fill out an online complaint form by visiting the page on reporting elder abuse and clicking the link for web reporting near the top of the page.
- Call this toll-free number: 1-866-552-4464. Reports are accepted between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you call outside of those hours, leave a detailed message. You should receive a response the next business day.
OFFICE OF THE STATE LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN
This is part of the Division of Aging Services. One of the main purposes of this office is to investigate and try to resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents of long-term care facilities.
From the top right of the homepage of the ombudsman program website, you can select the county with the nursing home where the abuse occurred. This will provide you with contact information for the ombudsman assigned to the appropriate county.
Here is the contact information for the ombudsman assigned to Chatham County, where Savannah is located:
- Main phone numbers: (912) 367-4866 or 1-866-991-9988
- Fax number: (912) 367-3849
HEALTHCARE FACILITY REGULATION
This is a division of Georgia’s Department of Community Health responsible for licensing, certification and oversight of health care facilities in the state.
You can file a complaint with Healthcare Facility Regulation by:
- Calling 1-800-878-6442
- Faxing a complaint to 404-657-5731
CONTACT OUR ATTORNEYS FOR HELP FILING A COMPLAINT
Filing an official complaint with authorities in Georgia is the first step to dealing with nursing home abuse.
However, while the authorities will investigate and hopefully punish those responsible for your loved one’s abuse, they will not be able to provide compensation for the damages caused by the abuse.
That is where our Savannah personal injury lawyers come in. We may be able to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for physical, financial and emotional damages. While compensation cannot change what happened, it can go a long way toward helping your loved one and your family recover from this awful situation.
Our experienced attorneys offer a free, no obligation legal consultation where you can discuss what happened and our attorneys can determine if you have a case. If you do, and you decide to proceed, you will not be charged legal fees unless you receive compensation.
Call 855-856-4212 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today to set up your free consultation.