You’re afraid that someone you love has been abused or neglected by staff in a nearby nursing home facility. Even if you only have your suspicions, you shouldn’t leave your loved one’s fate to chance. Don’t hesitate to consult the Schenk Smith website and our library of educational videos. Then, give us a call to set up your free consultation.

Recognizing abuse and neglect isn’t always easy. Abuse alone can take on many forms. It can be physical, psychological, financial and sexual in nature. Sometimes it is a mixture of two or more of these. Neglect, meanwhile, could be anything from forgetting to change your loved one’s position in their bed, to not bathing them or brushing their teeth.

Can I Sue the Nursing Facility for Injuring My Loved One?

Absolutely. Nursing home facilities may be held liable for injuries that occur to residents. In fact, the vast majority of nursing homes have liability insurance in place as a precaution against legal action. Lawsuits against nursing homes can and do happen all the time.

Suing a nursing home does not require you to go out of pocket to pay legal bills. Many attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing unless the attorney wins your case. We at Schenk Smith follow this method. To date, it has allowed many Georgia residents to sue nursing homes for injuries incurred to their loved ones, without going into debt.

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Abuse in Georgia?

Yes. You have a limited time frame to file a lawsuit after an alleged offense has been committed. It’s for this reason that we recommend you begin the process of selecting and consulting an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible.

Georgia residents have two years from the time of the alleged abuse or neglect to file a lawsuit. The two year rule covers all personal injury or medical malpractice related offenses. Courts offer little wiggle room when it comes to statutes of limitations, and we’ve seen some terrible instances where abuse clearly occurred, but the family waited too long to file suit.

Don’t let this tragedy happen to you and your loved one. Contact Schenk Smith today for your free consultation.

We Are Schenk Smith, Your Swainsboro Nursing Home Lawyers

If you suspect your loved one may have been abused or neglected at a nearby nursing home facility, then you need a law firm by your side that you can trust. For many Georgia residents, that law firm is Schenk Smith LLC.

Schenk Smith is one of Georgia’s most trusted names when it comes to fighting back against elder abuse and neglect. Our attorneys have been selected as Georgia Super Lawyer Rising Stars, and we are the best Google reviewed law firm focusing on elder abuse in the state.

So regardless of where you are in the vicinity of Swainsboro, don’t hesitate to reach out. We can come to you whether you live by George L Smith State Park, Vines Botanical Gardens, or the Altama Museum of Art and History. We’ve got you covered.

Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Swainsboro, Georgia- What you need to know.

Swainsboro, Georgia is located in Emanuel and has a population of 7,504 residents. Of those, 11.9% are aged 65 and older. This elderly community of Swainsboro is who we serve. And we serve them proudly.

What Are Signs That My Loved One Has Been Neglected at a Nursing Home?

Every day across America, overworked nursing staff must contend with far more residents than they can reasonably support. This environment creates stress, frustration, and eventually, neglectful practices to the residents that rely on them.

Make no mistake; there is no excuse for neglect in nursing home facilities. You can and should consider filing a lawsuit if you see one or more of the following signs:

  • Your loved one’s hygiene is declining: Bad breath, greasy hair, a noticeable body odor smell, long fingernails and soiled clothing could indicate that your loved one isn’t being bathed or having their basic needs met.
  • Your loved one’s mood has changed: As the months passed, you’ve noticed a change in your loved one’s mood. They never smile, they avoid talking, and they stare off into nothing. This could be a sign of neglect.
  • Your loved one looks thin and malnourished: Be on the lookout for swift changes to your loved one’s weight. If your loved one experiences one infection after the next, that could also be a sign that they are malnourished.
  • Your loved one has bedsores: Bedsores are a clear indicator that nursing staff is not on top of their game. If your loved one was hospitalized for bedsores, there is a good chance neglect is at play.

How Are Bedsores Formed and How Are They Treated?

When an area of the body makes contact with another surface, it creates pressure on the skin and underlying tissue. If that pressure is not relieved, the skin around the area can experience a loss of blood flow, which may lead to the death of nearby skin and tissue cells. The final outcome of this process is something called a pressure ulcer, or what is commonly known as a bedsore.

Bedsores occur when we stay in one position on a bed for too long. The pressure on the skin leads to a loss of blood flow to that area. The most common areas where this occurs are the heels, thighs, buttocks, upper back, and top of the head—the areas which most commonly support us when we’re lying down.

The first step of treating a bedsore is to identify which stage it’s in. There are four stages to bedsores. The further along the stage, the longer they will take to heal.

  • Stage One: Pressure should be immediately reduced to the area with the help of an air mattress or lifts. Repositioning should occur every hour at least. Topical creams may be applied.
  • Stage Two: An open wound has likely started to form. The area must be taken off of the bed immediately. The area should be cleaned and kept dry to avoid infection.
  • Stage Three: More tissue, muscle, and even bone may be visible. Antibiotics becomes essential. Surgery may be required to remove dead skin and tissue.
  • Stage Four: The wound is now life threatening. It is quickly expanding and deepening. Infection becomes an immediate threat. The resident will require medical attention immediately.

Why Does Neglect Occur in Nursing Homes?

Nursing home neglect is a fact of life for many elderly individuals across the United States. Thousands of complaints are made to state and federal governments every year. Unfortunately, this number may be on the rise, as more seniors than ever are entering America’s already-overcrowded nursing homes facilities.

Neglect occurs for many reasons. But some of the most common include:

  • Nursing shortage: America is undergoing a critical nursing shortage, and the problem is likely to get worse before it gets better. More Americans are retiring today than ever before. As these individuals enter nursing homes, the strain on nurses will only increase. If nursing homes take on too many residents, the nurses have no choice but lower the quality of their care.
  • Lack of funds: Healthcare costs in America continue to skyrocket. And this affects nursing homes more than most businesses. Nursing homes care for high-risk populations which require the highest quality medical equipment, medications, and supplies. If costs continue to rise, the quality of care will decrease.
  • Inexperienced nurses: Fewer nurses often means nursing homes can’t be choosy about whom they hire. This inexperience can harm residents, even if the nurse means well. And there is always the risk of a predatory individual making their way into the system and willfully neglecting the elder residents.

My loved one was hurt in a Swainsboro nursing home- What do I do next?

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

First, report the incident to the appropriate Georgia authorities

Georgia Department of Community Health

The Georgia Department of Community Health regulates, licenses, and grants license renewals to all nursing homes across Georgia. The branch of the DCH which you’ll be speaking with to file a complaint is the Healthcare Facility Regulation, which is tasked with investigating nursing home practices.

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 will also be able to file a complaint with the Georgia Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The Ombudsman program mediates disputes between Georgia residents and Georgia nursing homes. You will be connected with a trained expert who can enter the nursing home to ask questions and review their procedures.

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:

Middle Region –Georgia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

239 NE Park Avenue, Suite C-1

Baxley, GA 31513

Telephone: (912) 367-4866

Fax: (912) 367-3849

You may report physical assault or abuse to local law enforcement

If your loved one was physically assaulted by nursing home staff, a resident of a nursing home, or a nursing home administrator, you are within your rights to report those actions to law enforcement organizations.

For abuse occurring in a Swainsboro, Georgia nursing home, report the crime to the Police Department of Swainsboro or to the Emanuel County Sheriff.

City of Swainsboro Police Department

212 N Main St,

Swainsboro, GA 30401

Telephone: (478) 237-8967

Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office

125 South Main St

Swainsboro, Ga 30401

Telephone: (478) 237-7526

District Attorney’s Office: Middle Judicial District

101 N Main St, Ste 200

Swainsboro, Ga 30401

Telephone: (478) 237-7846

Find another facility for your loved one.

Your loved one has been through a terrible ordeal, and leaving him or her in an abusive or neglectful environment is unthinkable. Many times, a family has no other choice than to locate a new facility for their loved one.

We understand that locating a new facility can be stressful and disrupting to both your family and your elderly loved one’s routine. The good news is there are tools available to you which can dramatically reduce the time it takes to locate a new nursing home.

The tool which we highly recommend is’s nursing home compare website. Click here to go to the Nursing Home Compare Website. This tool provides detailed information regarding health inspections, staff ratings, and overall scores as defined by resident families and experts.

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

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

If the injuries sustained by your loved one seem suspicious or strange, or even if you just want peace of mind that the injuries were not caused by abuse or neglect, then the medical records related to those injuries may hold the answers you’re looking for.

Unfortunately, these medical records aren’t always easy to get. First of all, state and federal medical privacy laws make it very difficult for a loved to gain access to them. A power of attorney will be helpful in this regard. Alternatively, a capable attorney can likely secure these records for you.

Once you have the proper authorization, it’s a simple matter of filling out the correct paper work at the hospital. As far as costs go, a hospital cannot charge you for these records, with the exception being the cost of printing and retrieval.

Even after you’ve been authorized to access the records, there may still be hurdles. One of the most important is figuring out which hospital your loved one went to. Don’t expect the nursing home to be forthcoming with this information. They will likely be unwilling to help.

Thanks to Swainsboro’s relatively small size, you may not have to go looking too far to find your loved one’s medical records. To help you, we’ve provided a link and contact information for the closest hospital, Emanuel Medical Center.

Emanuel Medical Center

(478) 289-1100

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

We are sorry to hear about the loss of your loved one. In the terrible event that this family member passed away due to the abuse or neglect of nursing home staff, you should know that you have options available to you to seek justice in his or her name.

When someone dies, the law allows a relative or close friend to represent that individual’s estate. The administrator or executor of the estate then has the ability to file a lawsuit in the deceased individual’s name. This lawsuit may then be directed at the nursing home that caused the fatal injuries.

To get the ball rolling on the estate, a close friend or family member—the individual who will be named executor of the estate—will need to go to their home county’s probate court. Probate courts are specialty courts which strictly deal in the affairs of the deceased, including distributing assets and paying off creditors.

We understand the probate court process can be daunting, so don’t hesitate to reach out to Schenk Smith today.

Click here for the Probate Court of Emanuel County

Emanuel County Probate Court

(478) 237-7091

125 South Main St

Swainsboro, Ga 30401

Nursing Homes in Swainsboro, Georgia

We’ve compiled a list of nearby nursing homes for your convenience. This information is taken from our CMS Nursing Home Compare Website.

PruittHealth- Swainsboro

(478) 237-7022

856 Highway 1 South

Swainsboro, GA 30401

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 (Much Below Average)

Number of Beds: 103

Number of Residents: 82

RN hours per resident per day: 24min (GA Avg: 34min)

Health Inspection Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)

Staff Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)

Quality Measure Rating: 1 out of 5 (Much Below Average)

Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 08-17-2017

Number of Health Citations: 3

Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2

Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting in citation: 0

Federal fines in previous 3 years: 0

Emanuel County Nursing Home

(478) 289-1334

117 Kite Road

Swainsboro, GA 30401

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)

Number of Beds: 49

Number of Residents: 47

RN hours per resident per day: 27min (GA Avg: 34min)

Health Inspection Rating: 5 out of 5 (Much Above Average)

Staff Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)

Quality Measure Rating: 1 out of 5 (Much Below Average)

Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 07-16-2017

Number of Health Citations: 0

Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2

Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting in citation: 0

Federal fines in previous 3 years: 1 ($20,740 on 07-16-2017)

Why Choose Schenk Smith as your Nursing Home Lawyers?

We understand how hard it can be to select an attorney. We also understand what’s at stake in your upcoming legal struggle. It isn’t just about winning a big settlement. It’s about making sure that justice is done and the nursing home pays for its crimes.

At Schenk Smith, our commitment is and always has been to your elderly loved one. And when it comes to making good on that commitment, we have a promising track record:

  • We are the best Google reviewed law firm in Georgia which specializes in nursing home abuse and neglect
  • We have been selected as Georgia Super Lawyer Rising Stars, a prominent distinction in the state.
  • We have secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for Georgia families since our law firm was founded in 2013.

Don’t leave your law suit to chance. Let the knowledgeable, honest, and experienced attorneys at Schenk Smith represent your loved one.

If your loved one was injured or died in a Swainsboro, 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.