No one knows your loved one better than you. If you sense that they aren’t getting the care they need, we’re here to help you take action. Our website, which offers a library of video FAQs, a blog, and links to our podcast, provides comprehensive information about all aspects of nursing home abuse and neglect. We encourage you to give us a call to talk about the specifics of your situation as well.

Neglect and abuse can both result in injury to your loved one, but they are caused by different things. Abuse occurs when a resident is harmed intentionally, such as when a staff member becomes irritated with a resident and hits them. Neglect, on the other hand, stems from failing to provide care that prevents sickness or injury. An example might be forgetting to give medicine to a resident or failing to reposition them in bed to prevent them from getting bedsores. Neither abuse nor neglect should be tolerated.

The facility hurt my loved one. Can I file a lawsuit?

If you wish to bring an abuse or neglect claim on behalf of a resident, you will have to demonstrate that you are authorized to do so. Being a relative does not automatically guarantee you the ability to file a claim. In many cases, you will have to secure paperwork showing that you have the right to act for your loved one.

In Georgia cases, this authorization paperwork will most likely take the form of general or durable power of attorney or guardianship documentation. These documents will be the first step in the process of helping you purse a claim for your loved one.

In some cases, however, you will not need documentation to pursue a claim. In cases of wrongful death, for example, the family of the deceased resident is automatically entitled to file a claim. It is most common for the spouse or children of the resident to do so.

A lawsuit will not always be necessary to get restitution for your loved one’s suffering. You may find that your loved one’s long-term care facility, or the defense attorney representing them, is willing to settle fairly without litigation. This is uncommon, however—many nursing homes will continue fighting doggedly against paying any recompense.

How much will filing a lawsuit cost?

One of the deciding factors for whether you wish to take legal action due to your loved one’s injury will likely be cost. Fortunately, most attorneys handling nursing home abuse cases work on a contingency basis, so they do not receive payment unless they win the case. When your lawyer has “skin in the game,” so to speak, they have more motivation to make sure you get the restitution you deserve. If you decide to go the legal route, you and your attorney will come to an agreement on the front end about the percentage your attorney will receive if they win your case.

Be aware that bringing a lawsuit usually involves significant costs apart from attorney fees, as well. To prove the extent of your loved one’s injuries, you will often have to get full medical records and expert testimony, the costs for which can reach into the thousands. Arbitration, if required, and court fees can also be steep. Most lawyers working in this area will pay these charges up front and be reimbursed upon a successful resolution.

We are Schenk Smith, your Mableton nursing home lawyers.

Our mission is to rectify cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. Because we are so passionate about this goal, this is the only type of law we practice. Will Smith, the founding attorney of Schenk Smith, learned first-hand the extent of injuries in nursing homes when he worked as a CNA in several Georgia facilities before becoming a lawyer. If you take a moment to browse our site, play some of our FAQ videos, and read our blog, you’ll see the depth of our commitment. Please call us today to schedule a meeting to help us protect your loved one. Whether you’re located near the Mableton Community Garden, the Silver Comet Trail, or Nickajack Creek, we’ll come to you.

Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Mableton, Georgia – What you need to know.

Mableton, Georgia is located in Cobb County and has a population of 37,115 residents. Of those, 8% are aged 65 and older. Here as in nursing homes around the country, abuse and neglect are frequent.

How do I spot the common signs of nursing home abuse?

You know your loved one well. Maybe you’ve noticed changes in them in recent visits, and your gut is telling you that something’s not right. Physical and/or behavioral changes may indicate that your loved one has been neglected or abused.

Physical Changes. Routine cuts and scrapes are not unusual in long-term care facilities, but more serious or repeated injuries may be a sign that something is wrong. Here are indicators that should concern you:

  • Bloody bedding or clothing.
  • Bruising or cuts that can’t be explained.
  • Dramatic weight loss or gain.
  • An unkempt appearance that is unusual for the resident.

Behavioral changes. We all have mood swings from day to day, but you know when a change in attitude in your loved one may stem from something that’s happening in their environment. Be aware of:

  • Emotional distancing.
  • Fear of facility staff.
  • Unusual outbursts of emotion.
  • Unusual lethargy (could be due to overmedication).
  • Any other behavior that is not typical of your loved one.

Why does nursing home abuse happen to begin with?

Working in a nursing home can be extremely taxing physically, mentally, and emotionally. It can take a toll on nurses and staff, which is one reason there is high turnover in these jobs. Because this work is known to be extremely challenging as well as low-paying, it does not always attract the best candidates.

Even if staff members are conscientious and caring, they may be stretched thin and take shortcuts in their work that can eventually lead to abuse. This may happen after a long period of becoming drained by the demands of the job, or relatively quickly when a facility is short-staffed and individuals must work mandatory overtime. This does not in any way excuse nursing home abuse—there is NO excuse. But as founding member Will Smith has seen firsthand in his own experience as a nursing home CNA, even good people may behave badly under strain.

In particular, staff need to receive adequate training on how to manage residents who are aggressive. They must learn how to diffuse aggression rather than fight back. This can be a difficult reflex for a staff member to control if a resident suddenly hits or pinches them. Residents who are in pain or suffering from cognitive disorders may not always be in control of their actions, but staff must learn to control their responses to them.

The owners of long-term care facilities ultimately bear the responsibility when abuse is committed. Nursing homes look for ways to cut costs just like any other for-profit business, and cutting corners in hiring procedures and staff oversight may be identified as a way to save. Thorough background checks of candidates and stringent monitoring of current staff may go by the wayside. Abbreviated training periods may not prepare new staff for the various stresses of the job.

Am I allowed to make decisions on my loved one’s behalf?

Many residents in nursing homes have lost significant cognitive function or are unable to express their needs due to diseases such as Alzheimer’s. In these cases, it is particularly important to have someone else designated to make decisions regarding their care.

Typically, residents who cannot act on their own behalf will have identified someone in a legal document—usually a child or a spouse—to do so. The extent of action the representative may take on the resident’s behalf will depend on what kind of paperwork has been prepared. A Power of Attorney document allows a representative to perform actions such as filing a lawsuit or selling property for the resident.

Guardianship documentation also allows an appointed representative to take certain actions for the resident, such as filing a lawsuit. Guardians are typically designated by the probate court in the county where the nursing home is located.

It is wise for families with a relative in a long-term care facility to ask the resident who they would like to represent them while they are still of sound mind. Preparing this paperwork before it is needed will set your family’s mind at ease and avoid delays in any legal actions the representative may take later on. This will be particularly important in the event of a lawsuit.

My loved one was hurt in a Mableton nursing home – What do I do next?

If your loved one was severely injured or passed away at a Mableton, Georgia nursing home, we recommend that you act as soon as possible to protect their rights.

First, report the incident to the appropriate Georgia authorities

Georgia Department of Community Health

The Georgia Department of Community Health’s Healthcare Facility Regulation investigates nursing homes for neglect and abuse. Their offices also regulate and certify nursing homes in Georgia.

You can file a complaint with the Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation online by clicking this link. Here is additional contact information:

Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation

Complaint Hotline:       (800) 878-6442

Complaint Fax:             (404) 657-5731

Georgia Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman

You may also wish to contact the Georgia Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman to file a complaint. The Ombudsman’s role is to advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. Ombudsmen are certified and trained by the State Office to improve conditions for nursing home residents. They have the power to intervene in conflicts between facilities and residents when permission is granted by either party.

You can file a complaint with the Georgia Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman online by clicking on this link. Here is additional contact information:

Capitol Ombudsman Program

225 Cameron Road
McDonough, Georgia 30253

Telephone:                  (404)-627-1057

Fax:                             (404)-627-1064

You may also report physical assault or abuse to local law enforcement

If your loved one was abused at a nursing home, you may want to report it to the police. The Cobb Judicial District Attorney’s Office may decide to bring criminal charges against the abuser.

For abuse occurring in a Mableton, Georgia nursing home, report the crime to the Cobb County Police Department or to the Cobb County Sheriff’s Department.

Cobb County Police Department

70 Haynes Street
Marietta, GA 30090

Telephone:      (770) 528-3080

Cobb County Sheriff’s Department

185 Roswell Street
Marietta, GA 30090

Telephone:      (770) 499-4600

Cobb Judicial District Attorney’s Office

70 Haynes Street
Marietta, GA 30090

Telephone:      (770) 528-3080

Find another facility for your loved one.

If your loved one has suffered in a long-term care facility, you’ll likely want to place them elsewhere. You’ll need to locate a nursing home that is within a reasonable distance, accepts Medicare and Medicaid, and—most importantly—is safe and welcoming. Luckily, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have created a website that rates every nursing home in the country that gets federal funding. Facilities are rated on characteristics such as inspection scores, staff quality, and nurse-to-resident ratio.

Click here to go to the Nursing Home Compare Website.

When you’ve found a facility that is potentially a good fit for your loved one, be sure to make an in-person visit. Take note of the atmosphere of the nursing home, and ask for a tour. If possible, chat with staff, nurses, and residents. If personnel are unfriendly or seem overextended, think twice about moving your loved one there.

For your convenience, a list of all nursing homes located within Mableton, Georgia is located below, along with their contact information and inspection scores.

Get the medical records from the hospital and the nursing home.

When taking legal action in a case of nursing home abuse, you will likely have to procure the resident’s medical records. To determine whether the long-term facility is at fault for your loved one’s injury, you’ll need detailed information on their medical diagnosis and treatment. However, since medical records are protected by patient privacy law, you will have to become authorized through a healthcare directive, a durable power of attorney, or guardianship designation. If you are not so authorized, you will likely not be given access to the records.

If your loved one suffered harm at a nursing home in Mableton, Georgia, they were probably taken to an area hospital. The contact details for the hospital medical records request departments in Mableton-area hospitals are listed below.

Begin the probate process if your loved one has passed away.

Handling your loved one’s affairs after they pass away can add stress to an already emotionally challenging time.  Whoever is in charge of the individual’s estate will have to work through the Probate Court to settle their affairs or, if necessary, file a lawsuit.

If your loved one left a will, it will usually contain instructions on who should be in charge of the estate and the Probate proceedings. If not, any individual—usually a spouse or close family member—can petition the court to represent the estate. Once granted permission by the court, the appointed person may bring a lawsuit against the long-term care facility and will also take care of any existing debts and collect money owed to the person.

If you are the individual who wishes to handle the estate, you’ll need to contact the Probate Court in the county where your loved one passed away. This will typically be the county where the nursing home is located.

Click here for the Probate Court of Cobb County.

Cobb County Probate Court

(770) 528-1900

32 Waddell Street
Marietta, GA 30090

Nursing Homes in Mableton, Georgia

Trying to find the right nursing home for your loved one? It’s a good idea to do some research, as conditions can vary widely among facilities. The following is a list of nursing homes in Mableton, Georgia, along with detailed information for each. This information is taken from CMS Nursing Home Compare Website.

Anderson Mill Health and Rehabilitation Center

(770) 941-8813

2130 Anderson Mill Road

Austell, GA 30106

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)

Number of Beds: 170

Number of Residents: 121

RN hours per resident per day: 12min (GA Avg: 34min)

Health Inspection Rating: 1 out of 5 (Much Below Average)

Staff Rating: 1 out of 5 (Much Below Average)

Quality Measure Rating: 5 out of 5 (Much Above Average)

Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 10-26-2017

Number of Health Citations: 0

Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2

Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting in citation: 10

Federal fines in previous 3 years: 2 ($339,886 on 01-20-2016; $13,627 on 02-03-2017)

Pruitthealth – Austell

(770) 941-5750

1700 Mulkey Road

Austell, GA 30106

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)

Number of Beds: 124

Number of Residents: 114

RN hours per resident per day: 45min (GA Avg: 34min)

Health Inspection Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)

Staff Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)

Quality Measure Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)

Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 06-22-2017

Number of Health Citations: 0

Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2

Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting in citation: 6

Federal fines in previous 3 years: 0

Why Choose Schenk Smith as Your Nursing Home Lawyers?

We know you have many alternatives to choose from when selecting an attorney for your nursing home neglect or abuse case. What makes us stand out from the crowd?

  • Lawyers and Educators. Our mission to rectify wrongs perpetrated in the long-term care system doesn’t stop with our legal work. We also do our part to educate the broader community about issues in nursing home abuse and neglect through our weekly video podcast. Our advocacy work has earned us Rising Stars recognition from the Super Lawyers legal recognition program.
  • Singular focus. Some law firms spread themselves thin, tackling everything from slip-and-falls to food poisoning. We focus in one area and one area only: nursing home abuse. Helping you get justice for a wrong your loved one suffered is our sole passion and priority.
  • Outstanding client feedback. Our reviews speak for themselves. We build strong relationships with our clients and are currently the best Google-reviewed law firm with a sole focus in nursing home abuse in Georgia.

Mableton nursing home abuse lawyers

If your loved one was injured or died in a Mableton, Georgia nursing home, please call us at Schenk Smith (678) 823-7678 for a free consultation. You can also check out hundreds of video FAQs on our website.