Tag: Nursing Home Abuse

Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against Nursing Home

According to the West Virginia Record, West Virginia’€™s top legal journal, Kanawaha resident Nancy Shelton is pressing charges against a Montgomery nursing home for the wrongful death of her late mother, Ms. Hattie Lucas.

The facility in question is the Montgomery General Hospital Extended Care Unit, where Ms. Hattie Lucas allegedly suffered from a €œpattern of neglect and abuse’€ at the hands of the hospital employees.

According to the brief filed on behalf of the Hattie Lucas Estate, Ms. Lucas received little to no care at the nursing home; this general neglect led to numerous falls, a broken hip, and eventually, her death. Charleston attorney Andrew Paternostro is representing the Hattie Lucas Estate, which is seeking punitive damages, court costs, and attorneys’€™ fees.

Nursing Home Abuse Cases at Moraitakis and Kushel, LLP

The National Center on Elder Abuse states that for every reported occurrence of nursing home neglect or abuse, five incidents go unreported. If you suspect that your parent, grandparent, or loved one is not receiving the care that he or she deserves, contact Moraitakis and Kushel, LLP for a free consultation.

Signs that your loved one may be a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Bed sores
  • Evidence of medical malpractice (switched medications, etc.)
  • Sudden, unexplained changes in behavior

Atlanta personal injury attorneys Glenn E. Kushel and Nicholas C. Moraitakis have 50 years of combined experience representing the claims of those who cannot stand up for themselves; a substantial portion of their practice is devoted to nursing home abuse and neglect litigation.

What you Need to Know About Nursing Home Law

If you or your loved ones have been the victims of nursing home negligence or abuse, you may not know where to turn for advice. At Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP, in Atlanta, Georgia, we pride ourselves on representing clients who have been abused by a nursing home or assisted care facility.

Nursing home or elder abuse can take many forms, including:

  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Bed sores
  • Physical injuries
  • Bruises
  • Errors dispersing medication

Understanding Nursing Home Law

Here are a few important things you need to know about nursing home law that many assisted care facilities will not tell you. Take these into consideration when you feel you or your family member has been wronged by a nursing home or other such facility:

  • Federal law permits families and patients to assist in developing a care plan, which includes nursing home staff making reasonable adjustments to a plan to comply with the specific needs of patients. If a facility has told you that you have no rights to determine certain aspects of the care you or your loved one receive, consider contacting Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP and let us provide a free consultation to advise you on the next steps to take.
  • Nursing homes may try to manipulate family members into signing a €œresponsible party’€ clause without adequately explaining what the term means. This clause essentially states that the family of a patient is financially responsible for their administered care in the event that the patient cannot provide adequate funds. This is legal under federal and state law, but not informing the responsible party of their financial obligation is not, so be weary of this terminology in any admission agreement you sign for your family member.
  • Many nursing homes will try to evict €œdifficult’€ residents when demand for nursing home beds outstrips supply. Eviction is legally only allowed for the following reasons: failure to pay for care, a patient is deemed fit to no longer require assisted living, a patient’€™s needs cannot be met at the facility, a resident is endangering the health and safety of others, or if the facility is going out of business. Facilities must provide written notice of eviction, often within 30 days of discharge, along with evidence to support their decision.

Reach Out to Our Law Team for Advice on Nursing Homes & Elder Abuse Cases

If you or your loved one has been abused in any of these or other ways by a nursing home, contactMoraitakis & Kushel today at 404-445-1411 or 1-800-688-2357 to have our nursing home law specialists evaluate your case and get you and your family compensated for any pain and suffering you may have endured.

Survey Says: Many Nursing Homes Fail to Report Abuse Allegations

According to a recent survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health Human Services, many nursing homes across the United States routinely fail to report accusations of abuse or neglect. Of the 209 nursing homes surveyed, up to 85{feda45885e261fa14202848ec0416fdb5a1c332b072331bc4b7a4cd461f32529} reported at least one allegation to the Office of the Inspector General in 2012. Given that 5 million elderly adults in senior care facilities suffer from abuse, neglect, and exploitation each year, this is hardly a surprising statistic.

As if these numbers weren’€™t enough to make you think carefully before placing an elder loved one in a senior care facility, the survey also found that only 53{feda45885e261fa14202848ec0416fdb5a1c332b072331bc4b7a4cd461f32529} of the total allegations in 2012 were reported as required by the federal government. Even more troubling was the finding that, of the accusations that were actually reported, 40{feda45885e261fa14202848ec0416fdb5a1c332b072331bc4b7a4cd461f32529} involved abuse at the hands of an employee or willful neglect of a resident.

Choosing a Good Nursing Home for Your Elder Loved One

Although the numbers presented by the U.S. Department of Health Human Services are certainly startling, it is possible to find quality care for your elder loved one. As you explore the options available to you and your family, there are a questions you should ask yourself as you search for the right nursing home:

  • How does the staff appear to treat residents?
  • How does the staff interact with each other?
  • What sounds and smells do you notice in the nursing home?
  • Does the food that is served meet nutritional needs and appear palatable?
  • Are there social activities planned for the residents?

When you visit a nursing home, you should also take the time to speak with the nursing assistants and staff. One of the most important questions you can ask is if they work a lot of overtime or double shifts. If the answer is yes, you can safely assume that the facility is understaffed, and that your loved one will not receive the care that he or she deserves.

Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers | Mortaikis & Kushel, LLP

If your elder loved one has suffered financial, physical, or emotional abuse in a nursing home facility, he or she is not alone. While our Atlanta nursing home abuse attorneys understand that nothing can erase the pain of abuse and neglect, we can help you and your loved one gain just compensation.

To schedule your free consultation with one of expert nursing home liability lawyers at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP, call (800) 688-2357 or (404) 445-1411.

Signs Your Loved One May Be a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse

You’ve placed your loved one under the watch and care of nursing home staff and attendants in hopes that they will receive the best care possible. Although many senior care facilities provide their residents with excellent care and medical treatment, countless others have been reported for nursing home abuse and neglect.

Nursing homes are often understaffed, and those staff members are overworked and cannot be in multiple places at once. Because of this, nursing home neglect and abuse can occur.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

In order to make sure your elder loved one is receiving the best possible care, you need to be aware of the physical and emotional signs of nursing home abuse or neglect so that you can take immediate action if you recognize any of them. These warning signs include:

Physical Signs of Elderly Abuse or Neglect
• Bruises, cuts or welts
• Broken bones
• Bed sores
• Soiled bedding or the smell of urine or fecal matter
• Poor personal hygiene (unwashed hair or clothes)
• Loss of hair
• Weight loss
• Illness or infection
• Dehydration

Emotional Signs of Elderly Abuse or Neglect
• Emotional withdrawal
• Listlessness
• Restlessness
• Fear of being touched
• Fear of loud noises

If you recognize any of these signs, it is important that you have a medical professional examine your loved one, and that you contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney for help and guidance on next steps.

Contact the Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the lawyers at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP. Our attorneys have over 70 years of combined experience with injury cases and work hard to stand for the rights of those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Call (404) 445-1411 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation with one of the nursing home neglect attorneys of Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP.

Protect Loved Ones Against Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

hile most nursing homes provide Georgia seniors with the high quality care they deserve, many elderly people experience abuse and neglect in their care facilities. From physical abuse to financial exploitation, crimes against elders take many different forms. Sexual abuse in nursing home is one of the serious crimes that many elder loved ones suffer from.

The experienced legal team at Moraitakis & Kushel, L.L.P. understands the delicate nature of sexual abuse in nursing homes. Often senior victims are embarrassed or ashamed to report the abuse. We recommend that families research their elder care facility and take the following steps to protect loved ones against nursing home sexual abuse:

Frequently Visit Loved Ones in Nursing Homes

Make if a goal to visit loved ones several times a week at different times of day. Frequent visits from family members decrease the likelihood of abuse or an attack. When visitors make frequent visits at different times, attackers are less able to plan an assault.

Ask about Changes in Injuries or Behavior 

If your loved one has unexplained bruises or acts anxious, ask questions. Your senior family member or the nursing home staff should be able to explain where bruises and injuries came from. Unexplained bruises or behavior changed should be thoroughly investigated and brought to the attention of the nursing home supervisor.

Observe Interactions Between Loved Ones and Nursing Home Staff

Make it a goal to watch your senior loved one interact with nursing home staff and other residents. If your elderly family member exhibits anxiety or stress when a certain staff member approaches to help with bathing, dressing, or using the bathroom, then you definitely need to start asking questions.

How to Report Sexual Abuse 

If your loved one is sexually abused in their elder care facility, talk to the nursing home administrator, contact your senior family member’€™s doctors, and call the police. The experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Moraitakis & Kushel, L.L.P. help you and your family members navigate the legal process with respect and find justice.

Speak with Our Representatives at Moraitakis & Kushel

Contact the lawyers at Moraitakis & Kushel, L.L.P. for legal support after nursing home abuse. Call our team at 800-688-2357 to schedule an initial consultation in our Atlanta office. The experienced lawyers at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP work tirelessly to help our clients find results.

Nursing Homes Nationwide Receive Lower Quality Scores

As a result of sweeping changes made in nursing home evaluation standards, many nursing home facilites nationwide are facing a drop in quality ratings. The poor ratings come as no surprise to advocates for the elderly, who have long decried the under-staffing of nursing homes and the overuse of anti-psychotic drugs on the elderly.

A drop in ratings will mean trouble for some nursing homes, which tend to tout their high quality ratings to potential residents in marketing materials. Officials in charge of the quality ratings and Nursing Home Compare website emphasize that the toughened quality standards do not necessarily signal a widespread decline in quality of nursing homes, but serve to encourage continuous improvements in elder care.

Officials Crack Down on Anti-Psychotic Drug Usage in Nursing Homes

The five-star quality rating system, which is used by nearly 1.5 million consumers each year, was recently updated to account for facilities’ use of anti-psychotic drugs. These medications have been shown to pose serious health risks for the elderly, especially for patients with dementia.

While the use of these drugs is often necessary for patients with conditions such as schizophrenia and Tourette syndrome, many facilities give these strong anti-psychotic drugs to patients who do not need them.

Nursing home resident advocates have long criticized the use of these powerful anti-psychotic drugs on the elderly. They claim that facilities use these medications to drug patients rather than provide adequate staffing and care for patients.

Many Nursing Homes Nationwide Lose Five-Star Rating

Due largely in part to the tougher standards regarding anti-psychotic drug usage, the average quality-of-care rating for nursing homes nationwide plummeted from 4.18{feda45885e261fa14202848ec0416fdb5a1c332b072331bc4b7a4cd461f32529} to 3.3{feda45885e261fa14202848ec0416fdb5a1c332b072331bc4b7a4cd461f32529} on the five-star ranking scale. A total of 61{feda45885e261fa14202848ec0416fdb5a1c332b072331bc4b7a4cd461f32529} of facilities nationwide saw a decrease in quality-of-care scores.

The more accurate rating system has also made it more difficult for facilities to earn and maintain the much sought-after five star rating, with 1,200 nursing homes losing their five-star accreditation this year.

About Nursing Home Abuse Experts, Moraitakis & Kushel

At Atlanta legal firm Moraitakis & Kushel, our team has extensive experience representing the families and victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. Our experienced team works hard on the side of victims of nursing home abuse, and always remains up to date on the latest developments and regulations in the industry.

While many efforts have been made to improve the safety of nursing homes nationwide, the elderly population still suffers a tragic amount of abuse and neglect in these facilities.

Listed below are a few resources to help educate consumers about the various forms nursing home abuse and neglect may take:
Neglect and Bed Sores
Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
Unexplained Falls and Deaths
Dehydration and Malnutrition

To meet with the team at Moraitakis & Kushel for a consultation about nursing home abuse, please call our office at 404-445-1411 or 800-688-2357, or fill out our convenient online contact form.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Atlanta

Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP is a leading nursing home abuse law firm in Atlanta dedicated to protecting your elderly loved ones. Your choice of a nursing home abuse lawyer in Atlanta is crucial to get proper protection and just compensation for your nursing home abuse case.

Identifying Nursing Home Abuse

Atlanta law partners Nicholas Moraitakis and Glenn Kushel are top nursing home abuse attorneys in Georgia, and have the comprehensive knowledge of nursing home abuse and neglect law necessary to represent your family in court.

Nursing home abuse may have occurred in a nursing home with any of the following circumstances:

  • Unexplained broken bones or wounds or signs of blunt force trauma
  • Pressure sores, unexplained weight loss, or significant changes in behavior
  • Patients left unattended for long periods of time
  • Failure of staff to respond to calls for help
  • Dehydration or malnutrition, or unexplained weight loss
  • Among others’€

Other legal issues may also arise to constitute medical malpractice, such as the switching of medications. An expert nursing home abuse lawyer in Atlanta is important to help ensuring your family has the legal protection it needs in the areas of nursing home abuse and neglect law, as well as medical malpractice.

How to Deal with Nursing Home Abuse

It is a complicated and emotional decision when a friend or loved one needs nursing home care. We understand. Even when we do our best to make the most careful choice, there is no guarantee of the quality of care our family member will receive at a long-term care facility. It is heartbreaking when the trust is broken and our loved ones are not taken care of properly. We want to represent you as yournursing home abuse lawyer in Atlanta to hold those responsible for abuse or neglect, and to prevent this tragedy from occurring to other families.

Reach Out to Us for Help

We have two convenient numbers to serve you. Dial 1-800-688-2357 toll-free, or in Atlanta call 404-445-1411 for a free consultation. Call today to connect with a highly qualified nursing home abuse lawyer in Atlanta.

New Legislation Calls for More Registered Nurses in Nursing Homes

Illinois Representative Jan Schakowsky-D introduced House Bill 5373, or the Put A Registered Nurse in the Nursing Home Act, on July 31st after learning that more than 1,500 (about 11%) nationwide nursing homes do not employ at least one 24-hour registered nurse. Ms. Schakowsky’€™s legislation would require all nationwide nursing homes that receive Medicaid or Medicare to employ a direct-care registered nurse 24-hours per day, seven days per week.

The astonishingly low number of registered nurses employed by nursing homes offers some insight into the poor care some seniors receive at elder care facilities. Though many nursing homes employ licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants to care for their patients, registered nurses account for the highest classification of certified caregivers. Registered nurses are additionally the only classification licensed to evaluate and assess a patient’€™s condition.

According to nursing home studies, many patients experience fewer instances of abuse and neglect when a 24-hour registered nurse is available, including decreased urinary tract infections, fewer hospitalizations, and fewer bedsores.

So why are registered nurses so scarce in an environment that requires the highest quality of care? Several reports indicate it is partially because of the difference in pay between working in a nursing home versus working in a hospital, where registered nurses make close to $70,000 or more annually. A second reason is due to location: some nursing homes are in rural areas which makes it difficult to staff a registered nurse throughout a 24-hour period.

Our team of legal experts will be watching the development of this new legislation to help our clients understand more about elder care in nursing homes.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

If you or someone you love has been abused or neglected while in the care of a nursing home, contact our legal team at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP in Atlanta, Georgia.

Our team of legal experts combines more than 70 years of experience to help you and your loved ones find justice. Schedule your free consultation in our Atlanta area office by calling (404) 261-0016 or toll free at 1(800) 688-2357 to learn how we fight for the rights of those who can’€™t defend themselves.

What You Need to Know About Pressure Sores and Nursing Home Abuse

While nursing home negligence can be a silent crime, pressure sores are a highly visible and painful sign of neglect. Nursing home abuse and neglect are serious issues facing elderly loved ones. If your loved one receives pressure sores in their senior care facility, it may be time to seek legal assistance.

Moraitakis & Kushel, L.L.P. in Atlanta, one of the city’€™s top elder abuse law firms, knows that nursing home abuse and negligence can be difficult to identify. Our team has created a helpful guide to bedsores and nursing home negligence.

What are Pressure Sores?

Pressure sores, also known as bedsores, decubitus ulcers, and pressure ulcers, are skin injuries that result from laying too long in the same position. Without frequent movement, bony areas like the elbows, heels, hips, or tail bone place a large amount of pressure on the skin and can create an injury.

How are Pressure Sores Caused?

Pressure sores are caused by a large amount of continuous pressure to the skin that limits blood flow. When pressure is combined with friction, sores are more likely to develop. Generally, bedsores develop when someone continually sits or lies in the same position.

Who is at Risk for Bedsores?

Seniors who are sedentary or bedridden are more likely to experience pressure sores. When people in hospitals and nursing homes cannot move, they are at higher risk of developing pressure ulcers. Other factors, like skin thinning with age, wheelchair use, and poor health, can contribute to bedsore development.

Are Pressure Sores Dangerous?

Not only are pressure sores painful, they can also lead to serious infections and health complications. It’€™s important for loved ones with pressure sores to seek medical attention before the pressure sores worsen.

Taking the Next Step with Moraitakis & Kushel

If your loved one experiences pressure sores in their senior care facility, contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at Moraitakis & Kushel, L.L.P. Our team helps families find justice for nursing home abuse and negligence.

Call Moraitakis & Kushel, L.L.P at 800-688-2357 to schedule a consultation with our Atlanta legal team.

Facility & Staff Face Charges in Nursing Home Abuse Investigation

ABC News reported that arrest warrants were issued for 21 employees of the Alzheimer’s Care of Commerce in Northeast Georgia. These employees now face more than 70 charges, including cruelty to people 65 or older, abuse, and neglect, among others. In several instances, acts of physical abuse were documented, and revealed that staff members struck patients residing at the Alzheimer’s Care of Commerce.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation continued their three-month probe for additional evidence of nursing home abuse by obtaining a search warrant. While searching, authorities found that bed sheets had been used to restrain patients, patients had been struck or hit with water, and several employees had prior felony convictions ranging from manslaughter to drugs. Among the suspects is the center’s owner as well as former and current employees.

According to the results of a Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee study, more than 30% of nursing homes in the United States alone received citations for nearly 9,000 accounts of abuse over a two year period. Nursing home neglect and abuse issues reported include:

‘€¢ Inadequate medical care
‘€¢ Dehydration
‘€¢ Malnutrition
‘€¢ Preventable accidents
‘€¢ Bedsores
‘€¢ Inadequate sanitation
‘€¢ Unhygienic conditions

In more than 1,600 documented nursing home abuse violations, patients were found to be in serious danger, some patients to the extent that their lives were in jeopardy. Still in other situations, staff members were accused of sexual and/or physical abuse while changing or bathing residents. Reports also included employees declining aid for those residents who were being abused by other residents.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Many abused elders won’t report the nursing home neglect or abuse to family or police. Signs that could indicate abuse include:

‘€¢ Significant changes in behavior
‘€¢ Pressure sores
‘€¢ Dehydration or malnutrition
‘€¢ Patients left unattended for excessive periods of time
‘€¢ Failure of response for calls of assistance

If you notice these, or any other unusual signs, your loved one may be experiencing nursing home abuse at the hands of their caregivers.

Contact the Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers of Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP is a personal injury law firm that stands up for the rights of those who cannot defend themselves. Call Atlanta nursing home abuse attorneys Nicholas C. Moraitakis and Glenn E. Kushel at (404) 261-0016 or toll free at 1(800) 688-2357 to schedule your initial free consultation.