The golden years of our parents and grandparents should be full of rest, peace, and loving care. Statistics show that in Texas nursing homes, however, this is not always the case. In fact, according to a 2019 report by the United Health Foundation, Texas ranked as the worst state in the nation for nursing home quality.
Whether due to staffing shortages, poor management, improper vetting of employees, or other reasons, physical, emotional, financial, and even sexual abuse is a real problem in Texas nursing homes. Regardless of the cause, if you or someone you love has been the victim of nursing home abuse in Texas, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact one of the experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Ananin, Chermol, Khattar, Fishman, PLLC today.
Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes
Nursing homes have a legal duty to provide a minimum standard of care, protection, and safety. When facilities and caregivers fail to meet the standards of this duty, it can constitute abuse. Abuse comes in all too many forms. Common types of of nursing home abuse include:
Abandonment. Nursing home residents daily, sometimes hourly, care and when facilities leave residents unattended their condition can deteriorate quickly.
Alzheimer’s abuse. Patients with Alzheimer’s, due to their dementia-induced memory and cognition difficulties, are uniquely susceptible to abuse.
Pressure ulcers. Often referred to as bed sores, pressure ulcers result from a patient being left in the same position for an extended period of time or poor hygiene. These common signs of abuse can lead to serious injury and infection if left untreated.
Dehydration and malnutrition. Proper nutrition and hydration is especially important for seniors. When residents are not properly fed and hydrated, it leaves them at greater risk for other ailments such as bed sores, pneumonia, infections, and mental decline.
Emotional abuse. As it leaves no physical signs, emotional abuse can be difficult to detect. Emotional abuse from caregivers includes humiliation, threats, isolation, and bullying.
Falls. All seniors are susceptible to injury from falls and nursing home residents are especially vulnerable. Nursing homes have a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent falls by providing proper care and supervisions and by maintaining safe facilities.
Financial abuse. Residents with decreased mental faculties are at greater risk for fraud and financial abuse. This can take the form of improper medical and insurance billing or identity theft.
Heat stroke. Seniors often have increased difficulty regulating body temperature. Thus proper heating and cooling of nursing home facilities is very important. A failure to do so can lead to serious health risks.
Medication abuse. Most nursing home residents take at least one medication, and many are on a battery of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Medication abuse occurs when caregivers overmedicate residents, often to make them more docile, or steal their medication to abuse or resell.
Improper hygiene. Daily hygiene is essential for maintaining a proper standard of care and when neglected it can lead to serious issues for residents.
Physical abuse. A surprisingly high number of nursing home residents are victims of physical abuse. Some of this abuse is intentional, but most appears to stem from improper staffing and training.
Sexual abuse. While it may seem unimaginable, sexual abuse is a real threat to nursing home residents. It can occur at the hands of staff and caregivers as well as other residents or visitors.
Wrongful death. The worst cases of nursing home abuse are those that result in a wrongful death caused by the negligence or intentional acts of another.
Signs of Neglect
Our older loved ones are often nursing home residents due to a decreased capacity in ability to perform the daily functions of life, including communication and clear thinking. A nursing home resident with such reduced abilities may have difficulties letting someone know about abuse they have suffered. This makes it more important for the resident’s loved ones to be vigilant in keeping an eye out for abuse. While not all nursing home abuse can be detected, common signs that a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect include:
Unexplained bruising, scars, or injuries
Sprains and strains
Fractures and broken bones
Restraint marks on wrists or ankles
Regressive and self-soothing behaviors such as rocking, sucking, or mumbling
Dirty living conditions
Torn, soiled, or bloody undergarments
Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
Unexplained weight loss
How a Texas Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help
If you are looking for legal advice regarding nursing home abuse Texas, please contact the experienced lawyers at Ananin, Chermol, Khattar, Fishman, PLLC. Call us at (866) MY1LAWYER or visit 1Lawyer.com and fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation and get help as soon as possible.