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Nursing homes and long-term care facilities are required to provide a certain standard of care, yet they often fall short. They fail to keep their residents as clean, healthy, and safe as they should. Neglect in nursing homes, or worse yet, abuse, can cause your loved one to get hurt or deteriorate. If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from neglect or abuse at a care facility, do not hesitate to call the nursing home neglect attorneys at The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers.

Our Texas personal injury attorneys know how devastating it is to learn your relative is not being properly cared for. The Law Giant is here to help you rectify the situation and hold the negligent facility responsible. Call 866-523-4167 today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation as soon as possible.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

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Types of Neglect

There are many forms of neglect that a nursing home or other facility can inflict on your loved one. Some of the most common types of neglect we see in nursing facilities include:

  • Failing to properly bathe residents, increasing the risk of infections like UTIs
  • Failing to change soiled clothing and bedding
  • Failing to move patients with limited mobility, increasing the risk of pressure sores/bed sores.
  • Failing to provide routine balanced meals, leading to malnutrition.
  • Failing to provide enough water and other liquids throughout the day, causing dehydration.
  • Failing to provide medication and other medical attention when necessary.
  • Failing to provide companionship and enjoyable activities.

Overall, your loved one can suffer harm due to neglect related to their basic needs, personal hygiene, medical needs, and emotional needs. If you believe one of these caused your loved one to suffer an injury or a worsening medical condition, check out our blog about signs of nursing home abuse or call our nursing home neglect lawyers right away.

Nursing home abuse is a growing problem for Texas’ elders
2 5 %

of the state's care centers have been cited for serious deficiencies.

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Pressure Ulcers

It is important to understand that pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores, are not a normal part of living in a nursing home. A pressure ulcer is an injury to the skin and tissue underneath the skin because of prolonged pressure on that area. They often develop in bony areas of the body, such as the hips and tailbone or the ankles and heels. If your loved one was properly cared for, they normally would not get a pressure sore.

Signs of pressure sores include swelling, unusual changes in the color or texture of the skin, an area of the skin that feels cooler or warmer than the rest, tenderness, and pus-like draining. If you notice signs of a bed sore, this is an indication that your loved one is not being properly bathed or moved. Even if your relative has limited mobility, they should not be left alone in bed all day. Call a nursing home neglect lawyer as soon as possible to find out what to do and how to hold the facility responsible.

Nursing Home Neglect Statistics

Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse is an ever-increasing problem. It is difficult to obtain accurate statistics regarding how often abuse and neglect occur. However, Texas authorities field a rising number of complaints.

In 2016, a study commission by the Texas Health Care Association regarding Texas nursing homes found that health-standard violations increased 20 percent between 2010 and 2014. These facilities also had 3 percent more severe deficiencies from 2010 to 2014. This is particularly bad when compared to the national trend. During that time, health care infractions and severe deficiencies around the U.S. decreased during the same time period.

Another alarming statistic is that in 2013, Texas had a high percentage of inspections that led to “immediate jeopardy” deficiency. Of Texas’ 1,200 facilities, 3.7 percent had violations that, were they not corrected, would cause serious harm or death to a resident or employee. This was higher than in Illinois, New York, California, and Florida. Illinois’ immediate jeopardy deficiencies were at 3.3 percent while Florida had .06 percent.

Elderly Abuse in Nursing Homes

Nursing home neglect is a failure to provide the level of care that the facility is legally required to provide. It is sometimes intentional, and in other times, it is a matter of carelessness or insufficient staffing. Abuse, however, is always intentional. This is the willful mistreatment of a nursing home resident. It is not only a violation of the nursing home resident’s rights, it is often a crime.

If you suspect that your relative has been the victim of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse at a nursing home or other care facility, call our nursing home abuse attorneys right away. We will immediately review the situation, contact the appropriate authorities, and work to get your loved one the care they need.

Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes

If your loved one is an elderly nursing home resident, they are vulnerable to many types of abuse, such as:

Physical Abuse

Your loved one may have been injured by physical violence, including hitting, slapping, shoving, kicking, and physical or chemical restraints. This type of abuse often coincides with neglect, as well. If you notice signs of physical abuse or your loved one tells you about it, call our nursing home abuse lawyers right away.

Sexual Abuse

Elderly men and women can be sexually victimized in facilities because they are often unable to fight back due to mobility difficulties. They also may have a hard time telling someone what is happening them if they have communication challenges or suffer from dementia. Sexual abuse can constitute non-consensual touching of the elderly person’s private areas, forcing an elderly person to perform sexual activities, and rape. Additionally, elderly individuals who cannot communicate or who are incapacitated cannot consent to any sexual activity. If you believe your loved one has been sexually abused at the facility, call our nursing home abuse attorneys right away. You also may choose to call the police to begin a criminal investigation into the matter.

Psychological Abuse

Nursing home abuse is not always physical in nature. Psychological and emotional abuse is a serious problem in long-term care facilities. This encompasses name calling, insults, yelling and screaming at the resident, ignoring the resident for long periods, demeaning the resident, and isolating the senior from family members and friends. If you notice that your loved one has become withdrawn or is nervous or scared around a particular staff member, talk with your relative about what is going on. If there are signs of psychological abuse, call The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers to discuss your options.

Signs and Symptoms of Elder Abuse

To keep your loved one safe, it is important to know the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect:

  • Unexplained bruises, scars, and welts
  • Sprains
  • Joint dislocations
  • Broken bones
  • Repeated falls
  • Broken glasses
  • Marks on wrists or other signs of restraints
  • Drug overdose or failure to take prescribed medication regularly
  • Regressive or self-soothing behavior by the senior, including rocking, sucking, or mumbling
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underwear
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Dirty living conditions
  • Soiled clothing and bedding
  • Inappropriate clothing for the weather or temperature
  • Bed Sores

It is important to listen to what your elderly loved one says about the facility and staff. It is even more important to visit regularly and observe your loved one’s surroundings and interactions with staff members. Your relative may be ashamed to confess what is happening to them. They may have been threatened. It may take you bringing up the subject first to learn more about any physical, sexual, or emotional abuse against your loved one.

How to Report a Nursing Home for Neglect or Abuse

If you suspect or are aware of neglect in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or intermediate care facilities, or by day activity, health services, and hospice providers, you can call 800-458-9858, according to the Texas Health and Human Services. You can speak directly with an HHS agent Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. through 7 p.m. If you call outside of those hours or on holidays, you can leave a message, and an HHS agent will follow up with you.

Following your call, HHS will investigate. An employee will make an unannounced visit to observe services at the facility, interview residents, staff members, and family members, and conduct other on-site reviews.

Can You File a Nursing Home Lawsuit?

If you suspect your loved one has been a victim of long-term care abuse and neglect, do not hesitate to call us. A facility staff member’s conduct may be a crime, yet you do not have to rely on the criminal justice system. You and your loved one may have the right to pursue compensation through a nursing home lawsuit.

Depending on the situation, your loved one may be able to file a personal injury or malpractice lawsuit against the facility and particular individuals involved in the abuse or neglect. This can be a difficult process, and we recommend you work with an experienced nursing home negligence attorney. One of our lawyers will conduct an in-depth investigation into what happened to your relative. We will gather and analyze a great deal of evidence, including facility records, photos and videos, and witness statements. We will also hire medical and elder care experts to prove your loved one’s injuries and the facility’s failure to provide adequate care.

We will also work closely with you and your loved one to determine an appropriate value for their claim. We will seek a settlement that compensates your loved one for their:

  • Medical expenses
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Disability or disfigurement
  • Reduced quality of life