Elder abuse, unfortunately, is becoming more and more of a reality in our current culture. With our aging population, some 1.5 million people are currently living in nursing homes. Although some nursing homes provide excellent care, sadly many only provide adequate if not marginal care.
Senior citizens depend on the staff for basic essentials like food, water, hygiene, and medication. When a nursing home fails to provide proper treatment, the facility may be negligent. Often the abuse is very subtle and the victims rarely report any signs or instances of abuse. If you or someone you love is a resident of a nursing home, you need to be prepared to stop any abuse before it occurs and what to look for should it occur.
Signs of Abuse:
- Physical Abuse (i.e. battery, assault, rape, unreasonable physical restraint, deprivation of food or water, over or under medicated, etc.)
- Neglect (physical neglect, medical neglect, failure to assist with hygiene, etc.)
- Verbal / Emotional Abuse (emotionally upset/agitated, unusual behavior such as sucking, rocking or biting, etc.)
- Other Warning Signs (unexplained injuries, rapid weight loss or gain, broken bones, etc)
The Texas nursing home abuse attorneys have pursued many claims against nursing homes in Austin on the behalf families of nursing home victims. Our attorneys know that too often nursing homes are understaffed, or not properly trained to take care of our elderly. Our firm has obtained valuable recoveries and has a proven track record of holding nursing homes and other elder care facilities accountable for nursing home abuse.
Our firm currently handles cases where the nursing home staff has intentionally or forcefully injured an elderly patient. We have represented clients who acquired bedsores or pressure sores as a result of improper care. Injury lawyers have helped victims who were neglected and fell in the nursing home. In certain cases our firm has helped represent families whose parents were injured in a nursing home, and where the nursing staff caused broke bones, various injuries and even death.
Failure by nurse aids and CNA’s to routinely move and change a patient’s position can result in stage four bedsores causing pain and even wrongful death. If you know an abused or neglected elder who has been injured in a nursing home or assisted living facility you should seek the immediate help of an experienced nursing home abuse attorney. Negligence and abuse in nursing care facilities has become too common. Nursing homes commit violations of law on a daily basis, and many elders are the victims of this abuse and neglect. Let us be your advocates for the safety of those who need our protection the most. We advocate and litigate for these most helpless victims.
Bedsores and Pressure Sores
Pressure sores, otherwise known as bedsores, can be a horrifying reality for victims of nursing home abuse in Texas.
Bedsores are areas of damaged skin caused by staying in the same position for an extended length of time. They are most commonly found where bones are close to the skin such as:
Who Is At Risk?
Bedsores can lead to serious infection and eventually become life-threatening. If a family member or loved one is bedridden, wheelchair bound, or unable to change position, they are easily susceptible to bedsores or pressure points.
Bedsores frequently occur in negligent nursing homes because of inadequate care and minimal staff. Contributing factors such as malnutrition and dehydration can exacerbate or worsen a bedsore and lead to infection. The number of victims of nursing home neglect in Texas is grossly under-reported. Reports estimate that at least 30% of nursing homes across the country show signs of abuse and neglect.
Nursing Home Requirements By Law
By law, all Texas Nursing Homes as well as nursing homes across the county are required to have a bed sore prevention program. The three part program requires:
- A skin care assessment must be completed within 14 days of admission to the nursing home.
- After admission, the nursing home must develop a care plan to address the patient’s needs. Including specific prevention measurements such as: turning and re-positioning the patient, specialized skin care, nutritional supplements, heel boots, and if required, a pressure-relieving mattress.
- The implementation of the nursing home residents care plan; requiring all nursing home staff be knowledgeable and competent in following the bedsore care plan.
Nursing Home Negligence
Placing a loved one in a nursing home facility can be one of the most difficult decisions you and your family will ever make. For many Americans, the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is based on the belief that they will receive better care in an assisted living environment. However, so many times this is not the case. Nursing homes in Texas and around the country are understaffed and often poorly trained.
Nursing home negligence can take many forms. Such as failure to:
- Provided proper nutrition, hydration, and/or medical care,
- Promptly respond to call/help lights,
- Turn residents (i.e. to prevent bed sore),
- Take precautions to prevent injury or a fall,
- Correctly medicate,
- Assist with personal hygiene,
- Call a physician.
What if I suspect a nursing home of abuse or neglect?
Our attorneys are experienced and dedicated to helping pursue justice for victims who have suffered neglect in a nursing home facility. If a loved one has experienced a serious injury or death as the result of nursing home abuse, you should immediately notify the nursing home, as well as contact a personal injury attorney to help you.