It’s often very difficult making the decision for our parents to move into a nursing home.  Nobody wants to think about their parents being mistreated.   Unfortunately, it can and does happen.  Consider this scenario:  “Jared” goes to visit his mom regularly at the nursing home.  While normally upbeat and happy, he notices she has become fearful and withdrawn.  When he inquires, she says everything is fine.  He begins to notice small bruises on her arm.  She says she bruises easily.  He asks the staff and they state that it’s due to her age and part of the aging process.  Jared believes there is more to the story.  What can he do? How can a person in this situation get the true details? This is why you may need an investigator if your loved one is in a nursing home.

All Nursing Homes Are Not The Same

If you have followed the news in Georgia recently, you may have noticed an increase in legislative efforts to crack down on nursing home neglect and abuse.  This is due to the number of reports coming in regarding the overall treatment of elderly patients in facilities, including nursing homes.  These abuses include neglect, causing bedsores or pressure sores.  Bedsores can be fatal if gone untreated.
A nursing home may appear to have the best staff on the surface.  Meanwhile, when nobody is watching, things can take a drastic turn.  Patients can be neglected, verbally abused or even physically abused.  Neglect can be in the form of withholding medication or refusing to assist in daily needs.  The problem may be with all employees and the attitude coming from management or it may be a few rogue employees on one shift.

The Way To Learn The Truth: Investigate

If your loved one is in a nursing home and you have any concerns about his or her well being, you may need an investigator.  What can an investigator do to help you?  First, an investigator can do a financial background check on the company.  As a representative of the family, the investigator can do even more:
  • Drop-in visits to see the patient
  • Personal observations between patient and staff
  • Checking the physical condition of patient (weight for possible malnutrition) for injuries, marks, bruises
  • Checking the room for cleanliness including bed sheets and bathroom if appropriate
  • Speaking to the patient about their stay at the home (if appropriate)
  • Visiting public areas of the home (cafeteria, other public areas)

If there is any wrong doing, the staff may initially attempt to prevent the investigator from visiting but a good investigator knows how to gain information in a professional manner.

How Do I Find a Qualified Investigator

There are a lot of private investigators out there.  Here are a few things you should consider when hiring someone to help you out with investigating the nursing home for your family.

  • Licensed – Choose an investigator that is licensed.
  • Reviews – A good investigator has testimonials; usually they are on their website.
  • Variety – Look for an investigator with a variety of skills and investigation techniques as well as a variety of clients.
  • Technology – Although you may not realize this important, a good investigator must have excellent technology skills to do their job.  If he or she finds that there is neglect or abuse where your family member lives, there will be a need to gather more information and possibly work with an attorney and/or law enforcement.
  • Court admissible evidence – A good investigator understands that what he or she collects may need to go before the court at some point.
  • Fees & Expectations – Choose someone who explains their process clearly.  You should understand what you will pay and how the process works.

Remember, the investigator is YOUR advocate; a person to help you protect your parents or loved ones.  If you feel you may need an investigator, we recommend using Eagle Investigative Services. Eagle Investigative Services are licensed and have a wide array of clients.  You can contact them directly at: Eagle Atlanta.

If someone you love is in a nursing home or other facility you are concerned about,  contact us.  Attorney David Crawford has the experience and knows exactly where to start.  If the initial facts warrants further legal investigation, David and his team will gather information about the patient’s history so that he has a complete understanding of how, and when, this occurred.  He will work with you and others to develop a detailed time line to understand what happened to your loved one, any warning signs that were ignored by the nursing home staff and what could have been done to avoid the problem. In essence, David will show you the negligent acts and omissions that may have occurred and help you understand the case prior to filing any lawsuit.

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