When a family cannot take care of an elderly or physically challenged relative, a nursing home is often the only alternative. It is imperative that anyone choosing a nursing home for a loved one takes a close look at the home's policies. Some nursing homes may look good at first glance, but what goes on behind the scenes isn't what most people want for their family members. Such is the situation where a state government is suing a nursing home for multiple charges of neglect. Although this case didn't occur in Georgia, the circumstances unfortunately are not limited by location and could occur in this state as well.
A representative for the state's Department of Aging and Disability Services reports that the department investigated complaints in the spring of 2013 about patients at the nursing home who had bed sores and were not receiving the proper treatment. In one case, the family of a paraplegic who suffered from spina bifida noticed a golf ball-sized sore during a home visit. When they returned the man to the nursing home, they were informed that the proper physician would not be available to treat the wound for two days. The family took the 31-year-old man to hospital for treatment. He developed an infection from the sore that spread, and he ultimately died. Investigators who visited the nursing home reported finding a 92-year-old woman with a pressure sore who was soaked in urine as well.
The state's Attorney General's office has filed a lawsuit for nursing home neglect against the nursing home alleging that the home did not meet minimum care standards for treatment of pressure sores and failed to keep adequate records. The lawsuit seeks up to $20,000 in fines for each violation, as well as a permanent injunction from operating a nursing facility that does not meet the required standards of care.
Anyone who suspects abuse or neglect of a loved one who is a nursing home resident should act immediately. The guidance of a legal professional may help the family to decide the best way to move forward to ensure that their loved one is taken care of.
Source: Star-Telegram, "State sues Arlington nursing home, alleging neglect of patients," Elizabeth Campbell, June 19, 2014