Woman sitting on a wheelchair and looking out into the distance

Nursing home abuse is a growing problem in Georgia and around the country. While many caregivers, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities provide quality care to their residents, elders and disabled individuals are at risk of horrific abuse. If you suspect your loved one has been victimized by nursing home abuse, Gautreaux Law can help.

With comprehensive knowledge of the state laws governing nursing homes, we are dedicated to protecting vulnerable individuals from abuse. When you become our client, we will conduct a thorough investigation, identify the responsible parties, and hold them accountable. We offer free consultations and you will not pay anything to us until we win compensation for you.

Identifying Nursing Home Abuse

When nursing home residents face abuse or fail to receive proper care, the repercussions can be severe. Abuse comes in many forms – physical, emotional, and sexual:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse in a nursing home setting involves the use of physical force that can lead to personal injury, physical pain, or impairment. Examples of physical abuse include hitting, striking, shoving, shaking, pinching, slapping, and force-feeding.

Patients may also endure the inappropriate application of physical or medical restraints, such as sedatives, as a punitive measure or without proper authorization from the prescribing doctor. Indicators of physical abuse include bruises or other injuries on the victim.

Emotional Abuse

Within the confines of a nursing home, recognizing emotional abuse poses a greater challenge than identifying physical abuse. Nonetheless, this type of mistreatment usually encompasses behaviors that inflict emotional pain or distress, including:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Humiliation
  • Threats/intimidation
  • Harassment
  • Insults

Emotional abuse may also involve practices like shunning or isolating a nursing home resident from fellow residents, family, and friends. Signs of emotional abuse in elders include alterations in the victim’s personality or behavior. 

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse of a nursing home resident involves any nonconsensual sexual contact, particularly if the victim is incapable of giving consent. Sexual abuse may involve unwanted touching, forced nudity, sexual assault, and rape.

Perpetrators may be nursing home employees or residents. In any event, this form of nursing home abuse is a criminal offense, and victims may be entitled to compensation even if the  perpetrator is not arrested or convicted. 

Rights of Nursing Home Residents in Georgia

Residents of nursing homes generally have the right to:

  • Nondiscrimination – Patients are entitled to proper care regardless of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, or source of payment for the facility.
  • Privacy – Patients have a right to enjoy privacy in a skilled nursing facility unless this interferes with medical needs. This includes the ability to close doors and windows to the individual rooms.
  • Freedom of choice – Patients in nursing homes retain the right to vote, to practice religion, to abstain from religious practices, and to choose who will manage their finances.
  • Proper nutrition – All nursing facilities ensure that all patients receive proper nutrition. This generally includes three meals a day, with no more than a five-hour gap between meals.
  • Freedom from restraints – Patients generally have the right to be free from both physical and chemical restraints. The nursing facility must have proper written consent from a physician before using restraints.

A nursing home facility that fails to uphold these rights may face consequences from the state – and the patient or their loved ones have the right to file a neglect or abuse lawsuit.

Why Nursing Home Abuse Occurs

Nursing home abuse is often rooted in corporate priorities that prioritize profits over the well-being of patients. Some skilled nursing facilities may seek to reduce expenses by understaffing, while others rely on workers lacking sufficient experience and proper training. Another contributing factor to elder abuse is the inclusion of arbitration clauses in admissions contracts by many nursing homes.

These clauses mandate that patients and their families resolve any disputes through arbitration rather than through legal action. Arbitration, being a private process, typically involves the signing of nondisclosure agreements. Consequently, instances of nursing home abuse remain concealed from the public eye, leaving families uninformed about a facility’s history of allowing elder mistreatment to occur or persist. 

How Our Firm Fights Nursing Home Abuse in Georgia

If you or a loved one has been subjected to nursing home abuse, trust Gautreaux Law to protect your rights and well-being. Our priority is to ensure you receive appropriate compensation for all the injuries and harm caused by any sort of abuse.  

Our legal team will conduct a thorough investigation, identify the responsible parties, and hold them accountable. Nursing home abuse can lead to criminal felony charges. Additionally, state and federal law allows victims of elder abuse to file a civil lawsuit against a nursing home. 

We will leverage our skills and experience to help you recover damages such as past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages in some cases. While no amount of money can heal the pain and suffering your loved one has endured, you deserve justice and compensation from those who would harm vulnerable residents.  

Contact Our Experienced Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

At Gautreaux Law, we are committed to protecting nursing home residents from abuse. Above all, we believe that the most vulnerable members of our society deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.