As the population of baby boomers continues to age, decreased physical health and mental conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s have left many loved ones tasked with caring for them with no other alternative than to seek nursing homes or assisted living facilities to provide additional care. Unfortunately, some of these facilities have been exposed as significantly failing their residents and in some instances, placing them in grave peril. A multi-million-dollar lawsuit was filed in March of 2014 on behalf of Bernice Youngblood, an 86 year old resident of the East Neck Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in West Babylon, NY. According to the lawsuit Youngblood was subjected to an unwanted performance by a male stripper and photographed by the nursing staff as the semi-nude male dancer gyrated in front of her. This incident was discovered by the her son who found the photograph in his mother’s belongings. The lawsuit further alleges that when the family inquired about the photo the head nurse lunged at him and attempted to snatch it out of his hand. As stated by Youngblood,”I felt terrible. I was shaking and did what he told me to do”.
Unfortunately, stories of physical and emotional abuse in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are well documented. A 2013 ABC News report published by David Ruppe entitled “Elderly Abused at 1 in 3 Nursing Homes” highlighted some of the nightmarish conditions present in some of the nursing homes across the country. According to the article, 30 percent of nursing homes in the United States were cited for an estimated 9,000 instances of abuse from January 1999 to January 2001. Among the instances reported the most common problems included:
– untreated bedsores
– inadequate medical care
– preventable accidents
– broken bones
– and inadequate sanitation and hygiene
Other more egregious documented examples of abuse at nursing homes included attendants physically attacking residents, intentionally inflicted physical injury and neglect which ultimately led to the death of residents. In fact, abuse of an elderly person can take the form of the physical and emotional abuse as listed above or financial exploitation such as the theft of money, forged signatures and unauthorized withdrawals.
In any personal injury claim swift action is necessary to preserve the plaintiff’s right to recovery. In Georgia actions based on injury due to negligence must be filed no later than 2 years after the injury is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. If your elderly loved one has suffered physical or emotional abuse or neglect at the hands of their caretaker you may be entitled to compensation. Douglasville Personal Injury Lawyers represents clients in Atlanta, Douglasville, Lithia Springs, Austell, Villa Rica and Hiram. Our practice is devoted to protecting the rights of those harmed by the negligence of others. Call today for free case evaluation.