Jefferson County, Alabama
Jefferson County, founded in 1819, is located in the north central portion of the state, in the center of the iron, coal and limestone mining belt of the southern United States. It is the principal and most populous county in the state, with approximately 658,000 residents, and was named in honor of Thomas Jefferson. The Birmingham-Hoover metropolitan area (which includes part of Shelby county) has approximately 1.25 million residents, or a quarter of the states population. The city of Birmingham is the county seat and is home to the University of Alabama in Birmingham and three of the States 5 law schools. It ranks as one of the most important business centers in the southeast and is one of the largest banking centers in the United States.
Finding a nursing home can be a daunting task when you are considering who you will trust to take care of your loved one. Many people are in long-term care facilities and most families believe that their loved one will be well taken care of. Some nursing home residents do receive the love and care that they require. However, consider the following. Over 90% of all nursing homes have been cited for at least one deficiency. More than one-third of all nursing homes experience some form of resident abuse, including malnutrition, physical abuse, psychological distress, exploitation, neglect and sexual abuse. Approximately 90% of the abusers are known (staff, residents, or family members). It is suspected that of all abuse cases, only 20% are actually reported, making the number of actual abuse cases significantly higher than reported. Over 50% of nursing home residents don’t have family or close friends, so there is no one to check on them or to make sure that they are being cared for.
One nursing home investigation recently reported that nursing staff noted 30 aggressions toward residents in one 8 hours shift. Nursing homes are grossly understaffed, with the ratio of residents being between 1:15 to 1:30, when the recommended is 1:3 during meals and 1:6 during other times. The nursing aide turn over is 71% and the average rate of pay for a nursing aide is $8 an hour. Of all residents within the nursing home, at least 1/3 of them are taking anti-psychotic medications. In addition, over 92% of all nursing homes employ at least one convicted criminal and they have no requirements for background checks of employees.
There are currently 33 facilities in Jefferson County providing long term care to the elderly with the majority of those being located in the Birmingham area. Of those 33, fifteen were rated as “Much Below Average” with the definition of much below average being “actual harm and/or immediate jeopardy”. Nine were rated “Below Average” with the definition of below average being “Potential for more than Minimal Harm”.
The Nursing Home Law Group attorneys are Alabama Lawyers representing Alabama citizens. We have a passion in protecting the rights, welfare and dignity of the elderly community and the experience to do so. The founding member, Steven Baker, is also a registered nurse as well as a practicing attorney who is well versed in the laws and guidelines that should protect nursing home residents. Of all groups that would ever be considered vulnerable, our elderly is paramount among them. We believe it is our duty to help protect those that cannot protect themselves. Sadly, not only are the elderly at risk. Anyone admitted to any long- term care facility is at risk of injury or even death, regardless of age. The Nursing Home Law Group attorneys have often undertaken the task of representing and recovering for the wrongful death or abuse and neglect of our client’s loved ones.
Some cases can be resolved without litigation. However, if it is necessary for your case to go to court, Birmingham and Jefferson County are located within the 10th Judicial Circuit of Alabama. Jefferson County is one of a couple of counties that have two courthouses, one located in Birmingham and one located in Bessemer. For more information regarding the 10th Judicial Circuit, including judges, codes and rules, which can be particularly helpful if you find yourself involved in a legal matter, please click here.
Our office is conveniently located in Hoover at 3829 Lorna Road, Suite 302, Hoover, AL 35244. If you or your family feels they have been the victim of nursing home abuse or negligence, call the law office of NHLG at (205) 982-4445 TODAY for a FREE consultation.