Protecting Your Loved Ones
We place our trust in nursing homes to meet the basic needs of our loved ones.
If you’ve noticed signs of abuse in your loved one, such as bruising, malnourishment, or depression, he or she may be suffering from nursing home abuse. There are laws and a Resident’s Bill of Rights enforced by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services designed to protect your family member’s best interests.
A Houston nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you stop the abuse. Contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law today at 1 (800) 444-5000 or complete a free initial consultation form—it only takes a few minutes, and we’ll never share your personal information.
If you suspect your relative is being abused, follow these steps:
Visit quietly with witnesses, such as other staff members, residents, or their guests.
Start keeping a detailed log which includes date and time, witnesses, perpetrator, and a description of what happened.
Enlist other family members to help gather facts.
Take photos and videos of any visible signs of abuse (torn clothes, bruises, dramatic weight loss, etc.).
Gather detailed financial and medical records to document all treatment (and the cost).
If you file any written complaints, keep copies (including written responses). Enter detailed descriptions of these events and any meetings with administrators, etc., in your log.
Texas also allows you to install a hidden camera in your relative’s nursing home room (known as a “granny cam”). But ask your nursing home abuse attorney about some rules you must follow in order for the evidence to be legally admissible.
Signs of Negligent Care in a Nursing Home
The outlook isn’t rosy for Texas’ senior citizens when it comes to quality of care in our state’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Studies by groups such as AARP, respected publications which include U.S. News & World Report, and government healthcare agencies like Medicare show that throughout the U.S., nursing home/senior care facilities’ health-standard violations are declining. But Texas’ numbers are going in the wrong direction – up, way up!
According to The Dallas Morning News, citations for deficiencies in Texas facilities rose by 20% between 2010 and 2014; and severe infractions increased by 3% over that same period – while severe violations at nursing homes across the country declined by 16%.
This pattern of poor care in Texas nursing homes has consistently placed the state at or near the bottom of authoritative quality rankings.
If your loved one has suffered from neglect or abuse as a nursing home resident, it must first be determined who among the staff is responsible.
It may involve:
- Nurses and caregivers
- Maintenance staff
- Other residents
- Visiting family members.
The following are a few examples of specific nursing home abuse situations. If you suspect your loved one is suffering from abuse at a nursing home, contact a seasoned Houston nursing home abuse lawyer.
- Abrasions which may be injuries from being restrained by ropes or straps
- Internal injuries that may be identified by pain or malfunctioning organs
- Traumatic hair or tooth loss
- Sprains, broken bones, fractures, or dislocated joints.
- Caregiver yelling, shouting, screaming or threatening to harm the patient
- Talking to the patient like one would a child
- Embarrassing or making the patient feel guilty or upset in front of others
- Nonverbal isolating or prohibiting your relative from interacting with other residents
- Restricting access to food, water, or the bathroom.
- Problems walking or sitting
- Torn, bloody, or stained underwear
- Bruises of the genitals or inner thigh
- Panic attacks, symptoms of agitation or other signs of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social or emotional withdrawal from others
- Engaging in inappropriate or unusual sexual activities.
You should be concerned if your nursing home relative has:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, sprains, or fractures
- Rapid weight gain or loss
- Sudden changes in normal behavior
- Being kept in an over-medicated state, or not having their pain managed effectively
- Lost or missing possessions
- Abruptly changing legal papers such as a will or financial documents.
Other clues may come from the facility’s nurses or staff members themselves:
- They don’t keep you and family members up-to-speed about your relative’s status; or they give evasive, non-specific answers to direct questions about your family member.
- They cannot satisfactorily explain the marks or bruises on your loved one.
- You or your relative’s visiting friends are discouraged from visiting your relative, or there are delays in allowing you to see your loved one on arrival.
- Or you are dissuaded from being alone with your family member.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
What You Need to Know
Causes of Neglect
Most causes of nursing home abuse surround employee issues, including:
- Staffing shortages
- Lack of staff training and experience
- Underpaid caregivers
- Poor supervision, management or accountability
- Personal issues involving individual caregivers.
NURSING HOME RESIDENT RESOURCES
People Just Like You
Terry Bryant opened his own law firm in 1985. Ever since, he’s been helping people just like you deal with the challenges of personal injury claims. He has the knowledge necessary to help with your legal claims.