A Birmingham law firm has released a free guide to nursing home neglect cases, which the attorneys say will help awareness among families throughout Alabama.
"Thousands of families statewide are affected by abuse and neglect in nursing homes every year," attorney Perry Shuttlesworth of Shuttlesworth Law Firm LLC, said. "Far too many of those cases go unreported and unaddressed. It's a true public health crisis, and those families have the power to do something about it."
The guide includes a discussion of four common health problems among nursing home residents: dehydration, pressure sores or bedsores, sepsis and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
According to Shuttlesworth, families of nursing home residents can protect their loved ones by staying engaged in their care.
"Visit frequently and keep your eyes open. Have a copy of your loved one's care plan. Talk to the staff every time you visit, and if you see something, say something to a supervisor or administrator," Shuttlesworth explained. "Our parents, grandparents and other relatives in nursing homes are vulnerable because they can't always advocate for themselves. We need to be their advocates."
Shuttlesworth outlined some specific steps people can take to protect their elderly relatives.
"Do your research on the nursing home before placing a loved one in care. Ask for references. Know the facts about nursing home neglect and stay vigilant. It's unfortunate that we can't always just trust the nursing home to provide the best possible care, but this is what we have to do."
The free guide is available for download on the firm's website, www.shuttlesworthlasseter.com.