After the deaths of eight people at a nursing home in Hollywood Hills, Florida during Hurricane Irma, a spotlight has been shone on the shocking lack of emergency preparedness at nursing homes across the country. Many nursing homes do not have adequate measures in place to ensure resident safety in the case of an emergency such as a large hurricane.
Nursing homes are regularly inspected to make sure they comply with federal regulations, but even if they are cited, often the problems remain in place. Elderly nursing home residents often have diminished physical and mental capacity, which means that they rely entirely on others for help during emergencies. This has led to death and serious health problems for many residents when they are unable to get the help they need.
If you have a relative or loved one in a nursing home that you suspect of neglect, don't hesitate to call the Law Offices of Humberto Izquierdo, Jr., PC at 770-999-9015 for a free case evaluation. Your elderly loved ones deserve care and respect, and we will fight to bring abusive or neglectful nursing homes to justice.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
If a nursing home does not have clear disaster preparation guidelines, or if they do not have accessible emergency exits, it may be a sign of a larger underlying problem of neglect. Some real life examples include a nursing home in Texas that did not have a plan to evacuate wheelchair-bound residents, and a nursing home in Colorado that had a locked, gated courtyard that employees were unable to open.
Nursing home neglect is unfortunately common, as many elderly residents are unwilling or unable to speak up for themselves, and their families are unaware of the signs to look for.
When visiting a friend or relative in a nursing home, take the following steps to check for negligence:
- Ask caregivers about what plans they have in place in case of an emergency
- Look around the facility and take note of the residents' conditions - are they generally happy? Or do they seem withdrawn, sickly, undernourished, or sedated?
- Check the condition of your loved one's bedding and clothing
- Check to see if staff are actually supervising residents, or if they are simply handing out medications
Neglect or Abuse?
While neglect is more common in nursing homes, in some cases, outright abuse may be going on. Abuse of the elderly at a nursing home may be mental, physical, or sexual. Some of the signs to look for are:
- Changes in personality
- Unexplained bruises
- Depression or emotional withdrawal
- Weight loss
In nursing home abuse cases, the fault often lies with multiple parties. The employee taking advantage of their position to abuse their charges is obviously at fault, but their employer may also be at fault for lack of background screening and lack of proper employee supervision.
If you suspect that your loved one is in unsafe, unsanitary, or otherwise inadequate conditions at their nursing home, contact the Law Offices of Humberto Izquierdo, Jr., PC at 770-999-9015 today for your free consultation.
We serve the English and Spanish speaking communities of Marietta, Cumming, and Atlanta, GA. We work on a contingency basis, meaning that you won't owe us a penny until we win or settle your case.