Dedicated Mobile Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorney
Caring for parents, grandparents and other loved ones who have lost the ability to care for themselves can be challenging, and often times the needs of a loved one exceed what can be provided at home. Whether our loved one needs skilled nursing care or assisted living, we trust their care to professionals whom we expect to provide for their medical care and daily living needs while treating them with dignity and respect. Sadly, this is not always the case. Treating our elders and vulnerable family members in nursing homes with abuse or neglect is simply unforgiveable, and the Law Office of Gary W. Fillingim is dedicated to putting an immediate stop to nursing home abuse and neglect in Mobile, holding those facilities and staff accountable for their actions, and seeing that victims and their families are compensated for the harm inflicted on them.
Quality of Mobile Nursing Homes
Medicare evaluates nursing homes across the country according to a five-star rating system based on health inspections and complaints, staffing (nurses, nursing assistants and physical therapists) and quality measures of care, such as whether residents are in pain, are losing weight, or have received flu shots at the appropriate time. Of the 20 nursing homes located within 25 miles of Mobile, fully one-half are rated by Medicare as Below Average, with four facilities rated Much Below Average and receiving only one star on Medicare’s five-star scale.
Medicare hosts a website called Nursing Home Compare that allows you to review all nursing homes in your area and compare them side-by-side. Even if you choose a well-rated facility, however, keep in mind that high staff turnover rates or a change in ownership or management can drastically affect the quality of care in a facility before Medicare has a chance to update its ratings. The fact is that many facilities struggle to attract and maintain a sufficient number of qualified staff to adequately care for their residents; some facilities simply overbook their facilities to increase their revenue, knowing full well that they don’t have the resources to properly care for every resident.
Be on the Lookout for these Signs & Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Government regulation of nursing homes and long-term care facilities is not adequate; they simply do not have the resources to monitor the quality of care in every facility and bring prompt action against substandard nursing homes. If you see any of the following when you go to visit a family member, report it immediately to staff or administration at the nursing home. If you do not believe that appropriate action is being taken in a timely manner, contact the Law Office of Gary W. Fillingim, L.L.C. We will move swiftly to put an immediate stop to any neglect or abuse, and institute any necessary action to prevent further abuse and obtain compensation for the harm done.
Bedsores – Also known as pressure ulcers, bedsores can develop when a person is left in the same position in bed for a prolonged period of time. Persons who cannot reposition themselves should be moved or turned several times throughout the day and night. Nursing home staff should be trained in the proper procedures to prevent bedsores, which can cause serious, life-threatening infections and illnesses if not prevented or promptly treated. There is no excuse for the presence of bedsores if your loved one is being properly cared for.
Unexplained fractures, cuts or bruises – Nursing home staff may claim that a resident is prone to falls. Unless there is documented medical evidence of a condition that may cause falls, these injuries may be the result of physical abuse. A thorough investigation should be conducted to determine the causes of these injuries.
Marks around the wrists, ankles or upper arms – Marks around the wrists or ankles may show that a person has been put in restraints. Physical restraints may only be used for the safety of the resident or others, and not as a form of behavior control or punishment. The use of restraints should be documented in the resident’s chart or records. Marks on the upper arms or anywhere on both sides of the body can be evidence that the resident was violently grabbed or squeezed.
Unexplained weight loss, disorientation or confusion – These may all be signs of malnourishment or dehydration. Nursing home staff should monitor a resident’s weight changes and mental state, and ensure the resident is getting enough nutrition. Note also that food or water is sometimes withheld as a form of punishment or behavior control, which constitutes abuse.
Anxiety, fear or depression – If your loved one has become withdrawn, uncommunicative, or fearful, these may be signs of physical, verbal, emotional or psychological abuse being perpetrated by one or more members of the nursing home staff.
Get Help Now from an Experienced Mobile Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorney
If you believe that a family member is being mistreated in a Mobile nursing home due to neglect or abuse, call the Law Office of Gary W. Fillingim, L.L.C. at 251-445-7257 for immediate assistance. Your call is 100% confidential, and you will not be charged a fee for your consultation or for any legal services unless we are successful in handling your case.