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North Georgia Personal Injury Law Blog

Standards of care to consider when scoping out nursing homes

Researching and comparing nursing home facilities in Georgia is often the beginning step of finding an establishment that meets your expectations for compassionately caring for your loved one. At Cromartie Law, we understand the concerns you may have regarding the protection of your family member.

According to The University of Scranton, your loved one is one of approximately 1.6 million people who live and are cared for in a nursing home. They suggest several steps that managers can take to guarantee superior care of each resident. You can use these recommendations as well to gauge the credibility of a facility.

  • Staff attitude: Each staff member should uphold a positive attitude and have patience with each resident they care for. You can also look for indications that staff personnel are following designated protocols to keep residents safe and healthy.
  • Facility condition: The condition of the facility should be conducive to comfort, health and safety with proper lighting, clean floors and handicap accommodations. Technological devices should be up to date with industry standards and protocols.
  • Transparency: You should be able to have convenient access to facility-specific plans for emergency situations, as well as general operational policy guidelines. These should be posted in easy-to-see areas of the facility.

Avoiding repetitive-stress injuries in the workplace

If you are one of the thousands of Georgians working on an assembly line or sitting at an office desk all day long, you may have experienced persistent bodily strain resulting from repetitive movements. Completing the same tasks every single day can take a significant toll and leave you prone to repetitive-stress injuries. At Cromartie Law, we have helped many people like yourself to understand workers’ compensation and protect themselves in case of injury.

According to the Safety and Health Magazine, there are some precautionary steps you can take to avoid repetitive-stress injuries. These include the following:

  • Be aware: RSI is not like other injuries that appear suddenly. Rather, it develops slowly as your body is subjected to repetitive movements and positions. Localized pain that increases or seems to be initiated by certain conditions is one of the beginning signs of RSI. Being aware of such symptoms can help you make immediate changes before problems worsen.
  • Be proactive: As soon as you suspect that you are experiencing problems related to RSI, you should immediately talk with your employer. Ask about alternative solutions, request extended breaks or suggest the use of additional tools that may lessen the strain you are experiencing. Additionally, find out what you can do to alleviate pain and strengthen the stressed area.
  • Customize your workstation: Do not be afraid to move things around at your workstation and set up an environment that is conducive to comfortable movement. Discuss with your employer about the possibility using ergonomic designs to lessen the physical strain of everyday tasks.

You can make yourself and your motorcycle more visible

Statistics from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety show that there were 134 motorcycle crash fatalities in the state in 2012. Of these, more than half were riders aged 40 and above. When you are a motorist, looking for motorcycles is not high on your list of priorities. When you are a biker, visibility is a chief concern.

One way to increase visibility is to become a more colorful figure, but older motorcyclists especially love to wear black, and many have black bikes — and you may be a member of this group. Even so, there are steps you can take to make yourself more easily visible.

Truck accidents vs car accidents

Every accident in Georgia is different and involves different factors, so a side by side comparison of accidents involving a car or a truck can be difficult. However, when looking at a comparison of which vehicle would be better off in a collision accident, Big City Driver reports that trucks usually come out on top because of their size. Cars are simply smaller and less sturdily built, which means they sustain more damage.

There are some situations, though, where a truck may not be better off. When talking about pickups and SUVs, rollover accidents are more likely with these vehicles whereas this isn’t as big of a risk for cars.

What happens to the body in a car accident?

When you are involved in a car accident in Georgia, a chain reaction of events happens to your vehicle and your body. Understanding what happens can help you to be more aware of why you were injured or why you suffered certain injuries in the crash. According to The EMT Spot, you suffer from three types of impacts in an accident.

The first is when the vehicle hits another object, such as another car or a tree. The second occurs when your body hits something in the interior of your vehicle, such as your seat belt, the steering wheel or an air bag. The final one happens as your internal organs hit your bones and other supporting structures inside your body.

Types of slip-and-fall accidents

Slip-and-fall accidents can happen almost anywhere. At Cromartie Law, we have seen them happen in apartment buildings, parking lots, retail establishments and hotels. The basic concept is that negligence of a property owner led to you falling and being injured. However, the fall doesn’t always have to be a result of slipping, which occurs when a walking surface is wet or otherwise slick. There are other related instances that are considered a slip-and-fall accident.

Kaivac outlines three other situations where this type of accident can occur. The first is a stump where your walking in interrupted by a bump in the carpeting, an uneven surface or a sticky floor. The second instance is a trip where you trip over something in the walkway. This could be an uneven floor, a product that has fallen into the aisle or a cord that is stretched across the walkway. The last situation would be a step where there is an unexpected change in the walkway, like a step or a decline.

Measures that nursing homes can take to protect patients

Some seniors in Georgia reside in nursing home facilities because they need medical care, supervision and support that they are unable to receive in their homes. Many nursing homes have security measures in place to protect their residents; others do not. Nursing homes screen their staff carefully so they can hire the most qualified professionals. Sometimes, strict hiring criteria are not enough to keep bad caregivers from working for them.

Allegations of nursing home abuse are on the rise in the area. Here is a breakdown of safety measures that nursing home facilities can implement to protect their patients.

Nursing home staff often use antipsychotics illegally on patients

Antipsychotic drugs are used to treat psychosis and mental conditions. Many of the drugs classified as an antipsychotic are tranquilizers, which makes a person groggy and tired. Chemical restraint occurs when someone uses medication to sedate a patient. Nursing homes sometimes use antipsychotics to control “problem behavior,” such as anxiety, wandering and confusion. Toby Edelman, an attorney with Center for Medicare Advocacy Inc., reports that about 41.8 percent of nursing home residents are being given antipsychotic medications in violation of prescribing guidelines. 

Nursing homes use antipsychotic medications as restraints because of an increase in residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, a lack of staffing and staff training, and possibly due to improving profits. Although insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid are doing everything they can to reduce the use of antipsychotic medications, it does still occur. Seniors who take antipsychotics have an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, diabetes, seizures and uncontrolled tremors. Using these medications is not only dehumanizing but also bad for a person’s overall health. 

Statistics about nursing home abuse

Nursing home abuse is a concern in Georgia and across the United States. As the elderly population continues to grow, it is going to continue to be something that needs to be addressed. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that the age group over 85 has steadily grown in the past twenty years and is expected to experience even higher growth in the next 30 years.

Elder abuse can include financial exploitation and neglect, along with being psychological, physical or sexual in nature. In any event, it causes harm of some kind to the person due to the actions of another person and is illegal in all forms. There has been an increase in the reporting of elder abuse, which is allowing organizations to have a better idea of just what is occurring, who is doing it and how often it happens.

What are the workers’ compensation payment rules?

If you have been injured on the job in Georgia, then you are entitled to payments under workers’ compensation. Your employer must carry this insurance if it employs more than three people, according to State Board of Workers’ Compensation. This insurance will provide you with payments for medical-related expenses and for wage compensation while you are unable to work due to your injury or illness. In the event of your death, benefits are paid to your spouse and/or children.

The rule for payments made to compensate for lost wages states that you must be unable to work for seven days. Do note that you are not paid for the first seven days that you missed unless you miss a total of more than 21 days in a row. The first payment you will receive will be around 21 days after your first missed work day.

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Cromartie Law
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Rome, GA 30161

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