It’s one of the most important decisions a family has to make – choosing a nursing home for a loved one who needs constant care.
Nursing homes provide a solution for elderly persons and even young people who have disabilities to the extent that they cannot care for themselves. But too often, patients are mistreated by uncaring staff. Because the patients often cannot speak for themselves, such mistreatment is very hard to prove. Even if they can speak, they are often afraid to tell the truth because they have to live among their abusers.
That means that elder abuse is an unfortunate but all-too-common practice across the country
The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates one in every 10 people older than 60 are abused each year.
But for every one case of elder abuse that is detected or reported, it is estimated that approximately 23 cases remain hidden.
To pursue justice for your family after a case of nursing home abuse or neglect, you need the facts of what happened, and you need a nursing home negligence lawyer on your side to get that critical information. That's why you should contact The Law Office of George S. Johnson right away.
But there is one step you can take to protect your loved one right now. That is to install video cameras in their room. Doing so helped one family catch abusive staff.
The family of William John Parks, 89, who lived at Lynn Haven Health & Rehabilitation nursing home in Gray, Ga., became concerned earlier this year and put a "nanny cam" in his room. Footage recorded on Jan. 31, 2018, showed both physical and mental abuse of Parks, who was recovering from pneumonia and needed extra care with feeding and personal hygiene. Now, two nursing home staffers are facing charges of elder abuse.
Camera footage is crucial because your loved one may not be able to speak or remember what happened to them - or who was responsible. This is particularly true for patients suffering from memory loss. They may also feel too afraid to speak up. Staff may conspire to cover up any incidents or even not report them as required. Video footage doesn’t lie, though. The patient does not even need to testify to show what has happened.
What you can do
If an incident happens before you get your “nanny” cam installed, then you can use your cell phone camera to document any abuse. For example, takes pictures or video of the patient’s injuries and document the day and time. You can use this in the future to see if injuries are healing or getting worse.
The family of James Dempsey, 86, of Woodstock, Ga., was fortunate to have installed a hidden camera in his room at a Georgia senior-care facility. That camera recorded three nurses laughing as Dempsey, a World War II Navy veteran, gasped for breath. According to a DeKalb County grand jury indictment, the staff members not only caused the resident’s death, but tried to cover it up. The video footage was crucial in showing the truth of what happened.
You only have a limited amount of time to take legal action after you discover evidence of abuse or neglect involving assisted living facilities. In most cases, Georgia's statute of limitations is two years from the time of discovery to file a lawsuit.
While you might think you have plenty of time, be aware that building a strong legal case requires an early start. If you don't act fast, the evidence you need to support your claim might not be there when you do take action. Don't miss out on your opportunity for justice. Contact the Law Office of George S. Johnson right now.