Unfortunately, abuse, neglect, and unsafe conditions abound in Texas’s nursing homes. According to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ March 2022 report, Texas nursing homes have received a combined total of approximately 80,665 health citations since 2017. As of March 31, 2022, Texas nursing homes had received 247 citations for deficiencies 2022, eight of which related to abuse and neglect.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse occurs when healthcare providers directly or indirectly cause harm to a patient. Abusive practices can range from physically harming elderly patients to failing to help them with personal hygiene.
Texas’s healthcare liability law provides victims of nursing home abuse and neglect with recourse. If you suspect or experience nursing home abuse, contact the Carrollton nursing home abuse lawyers at Hartley Law today.
What Are Types of Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse unfortunately comes in many forms. However, the American Psychological Association identifies seven broad categories of elder abuse:
- Physical abuse,
- Sexual abuse,
- Emotional abuse,
- Financial or material exploitation, and
Family and friends of nursing home patients can call the Texas Health and Human Services’ hotline to report suspected nursing home abuse and neglect.
Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse that directly causes harm includes:
- Physical violence against patients;
- Improper use of restraints;
- Intentionally sedating a patient without a medical reason (e.g., just to “keep them quiet”); and
- Sexual abuse.
Elderly patients in Texas nursing homes may experience abuse that indirectly causes harm. Because of staff shortages, healthcare workers may engage in the illegal practice of intentionally sedating patients to “keep them quiet.” This practice violates the patient’s rights and increases the risk of injuries. For example, elderly patients are at an increased risk of slips and fall in nursing homes in these situations.
Verbal abuse, manipulation, and exploitation (such as stealing from residents) constitute nursing home abuse as well.
If you suspect nursing home abuse, you don’t have to go through it alone. The compassionate and skilled Carrollton nursing home abuse attorneys at Hartley Law Firm are here for you.
Nursing Home Neglect and Negligent Practices
Nursing home neglect occurs when caregivers fail to provide for a patient’s basic needs. Neglect also includes when a staff member restricts a patient’s access to their belongings.
Here are some examples of nursing home neglect:
- Failing to maintain adequate records, leading to improper treatment of residents;
- Improperly administering medication;
- Failing to give patients their medications at all;
- Not maintaining a clean facility;
- Failing to prevent bedsores or infections;
- Isolating patients; and
- Insufficient supervision of patients.
Though not all these actions may leave a physical mark, they can leave a lasting impression on patients. The experienced professionals at Hartley Law Firm want to help you understand your rights and hold negligent parties to account for their actions.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Your loved one may not directly tell you if they experience nursing home abuse or neglect, but there are several signs of abuse that may appear:
- Changes in mood or behavior,
- Increase in bruises or scratches,
- Missing or lost belongings,
- Disinterest in doing things that they usually enjoy doing,
- Slips and falls,
- Change in activity or energy level, and
- Paranoia or anxiety about or when interacting with staff.
If your loved one expresses concern about the nursing home, this may be a cry for help. Talking to your loved ones about their experience at the nursing home can help you identify nursing home abuse.
What Can I Do If I Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?
If you suspect nursing home abuse, there are steps you can take. Make note of suspicious behaviors or occurrences. When you are ready, you can file an initial report with the Texas Health and Human Services Department or call their hotline. A nursing home abuse attorney can help guide you through the process and investigate your legal claim.
Contact Our Carrollton Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Hartley Law Firm
We at Hartley Law Firm believe that claims of nursing home abuse and neglect deserve tireless attention. When people experience nursing home abuse, they need compassionate and aggressive legal representation. We provide the legal advocacy and acumen that you require on your side. Our clients appreciate our ability to handle every aspect of the case, giving you the freedom to heal and move forward. Call us today or contact us online.
Our experienced legal team also handles other types of cases, including:
- Personal Injury
- Car Accident
- Truck Accident
- Motorcycle Accident
- Construction Site Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Sexual Abuse
- Medical Malpractice