Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Texas
Although we trust that nursing homes, long-term care centers, and other residential facilities will properly care for our elderly loved ones, the fact is that nursing home abuse and neglect are rampant in the United States and worldwide. According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one in six people over the age of 59 living in community settings are subjected to some form of abuse or neglect each year. Perhaps more alarming still, the same report found that two out of three staff members admitted to abusing nursing home and other long-term care residents within the previous year.
If you are the victim of abuse, or if you suspect that your elderly loved one may have been neglected in a nursing home, reach out to Kelley Law Firm right away to learn how our attorneys can help. You and your family deserve justice, and our Dallas nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys are here to fight for the full and fair compensation you are owed. We proudly represent our society’s most vulnerable individuals, as well as the historically disenfranchised, and have successfully recovered more than half a billion dollars in compensation on behalf of individuals and families in DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, and the surrounding areas.
Reach out to our team today to learn how we can help you seek justice for nursing home abuse and neglect; call (972) 853-5398 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Elder abuse and nursing home neglect affect seniors from all backgrounds and walks of life. However, some individuals are more at risk than others.
Various studies have shown that elderly individuals with certain physical and mental health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, are significantly more likely to become victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. Studies have also found that non-white nursing home residents, specifically Black and Hispanic individuals, have a statistically much higher risk of suffering abuse and neglect at the hands of trusted caregivers.
Several large studies reported on by the National Library of Medicine’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) have found that, on average, minorities receive a lower quality of care in nursing homes and residential care facilities than white residents. And, when an individual is from a minority group and has Alzheimer’s or a related dementia condition, they are statistically at a disproportionate risk of being abused or neglected in a community care setting.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
It is important that family members and loved ones know the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. Often, elderly individuals are unwilling or incapable of speaking up for themselves when they are being mistreated by caregivers or nursing home staff. By knowing the signs of potential abuse, you can stay vigilant and report suspected misconduct right away.
Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Unexplained injuries, such as cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Untreated and/or advanced bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers
- Accidents, including falls, or accident-related injuries
- Unexplained changes in mood or behavior, such as bouts of crying or aggression
- Apparent fear or unwillingness to talk in the presence of a caregiver or staff
- Signs of chemical (i.e., medication-assisted) or physical restraint
- Dehydration and/or malnutrition, as well as unusual weight loss or weight gain
- Poor personal hygiene and lack of cleanliness
- Generally poor or unsanitary conditions at the facility
- Injuries located near or on the buttocks, genitals, or breasts
- Unexplained changes in an elderly resident’s financial situation
- Unusual withdrawals from bank accounts
- Bounced checks or overdrafts
- Changes to a will, trust, power of attorney, or similar document
If you notice any of these or other unusual signs, we encourage you to report possible abuse or neglect to the proper authorities. This may include the nursing home administrator, local law enforcement, or the state’s department of protective adult services. If you believe anyone is in immediate danger, call 911.
You should also reach out to an experienced attorney, like those at Kelley Law Firm, who can immediately begin investigating the incident and protecting your loved one’s rights, as well as the best interests of your family.
There are several different types of nursing home abuse, including:
- Physical Abuse: Physical abuse includes any unwanted and/or harmful physical contact between a nursing home resident and staff member, caregiver, or fellow resident. Things like slapping, hitting, pinching, shoving, punching, and even forceful grabbing all constitute physical abuse.
- Neglect: Neglect is a form of nursing home abuse in which the elderly resident’s basic needs are not met. This includes physical needs, such as nutrition, as well as medical needs, including administering necessary medications and obtaining medical care when necessary.
- Mental/Emotional Abuse: Mental, or emotional, abuse involves any act or omission meant to cause emotional distress or mental harm to an elderly nursing home resident. This includes yelling at, swearing at, shouting at, ignoring, belittling, or condescending to a resident.
- Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse includes any type of unwanted or nonconsensual sexual act, such as rape, groping, and sexual assault. Note that people with certain disabilities and mental impairments, such as dementia, may be unable to give consent.
- Financial Abuse: Financial abuse occurs when an individual takes advantage of another for financial gain. Examples include convincing a resident to make a caregiver the primary beneficiary of a will or making unauthorized withdrawals from a bank account.
Each of these types of abuse can lead to immense harm, whether physical, emotional, financial, or a combination thereof. If you believe that you or your loved one has been the victim of any kind of nursing home abuse, reach out to our team at Kelley Law Firm to learn how we can help.
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If you or your elderly loved one has suffered physical, mental, or financial harm as a result of suspected or known nursing home abuse, it is important that you reach out to a skilled nursing home abuse attorney who can fight for your right to fair compensation. In Texas, you typically have just two years from the date of injury or death to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Though there are some exceptions, in most cases, if you don’t file a claim with the court before the two-year statute of limitations expires, you will lose your right to sue for damages.
We invite you to contact our Dallas nursing home neglect lawyers right away if you have any reason to suspect your loved one has been subjected to abuse or neglect in a nursing home, residential facility, or similar community setting. We offer completely free consultations and do not collect any attorney fees unless/until we recover compensation on your behalf.
Call us today at (972) 853-5398 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.