Nursing home abuse is intentional actions that are meant to hurt a resident, such as punching or slapping. Neglect is an act of omission leading to harm because the resident failed to receive adequate care, e.g., failing to wipe up a spill that causes a slip and accident or mismanagement of medication. Residents can be mistreated by staff directly responsible for their care, such as nursing aides, therapists, doctors, other staff members, and even fellow residents.  

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If your family member is experiencing either abuse or neglect in the Dallas metro area, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Our team at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP, has handled many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect in Dallas. We are experienced in handling the convoluted legal system surrounding Texas nursing home litigation. Call today for a free consultation. 

Negligent Care

Negligent care can surface in multiple forms, often stemming from systemic issues, such as understaffing, within the nursing home.  

Common signs of negligent care include the following:

  • Unsanitary conditions and personal hygiene: The linens may be soiled, the bathrooms may be unclean, and there may be unsanitary dining areas and kitchens. Nursing home residents might not receive enough assistance when using the restroom or bathing themselves. There may be unpleasant odors and the presence of vermin.  
  • Poor environmental conditions: Unsafe living conditions such as wet floors, broken equipment, inadequate heating or cooling, or uncomfortable beds are all examples of neglect.  
  • Mismanagement of medication: When staff members do not take care with prescribing, dosing, and administering medication, the consequences are often serious.  

In addition, substandard social interaction and support are prevalent in understaffed nursing homes. Residents may become isolated and unable to communicate their needs.

Intentional Abuse 

Nursing home abuse can be verbal, physical, or psychological. The effects can include trauma responses, depression, and even fatalities. 

  • Physical abuse such as punching, slapping, or forcibly restraining a resident that leads to pain, injury, or impairment. 
  • Sexual abuse may include unwanted sexual contact or forcible viewing of pornographic material.  
  • Emotional abuse can include intentional humiliation, name-calling, or threatening them.  

Finally, financial exploitation is a staff member’s illegal or improper use of a resident’s funds, property, or resources. 

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Protecting Your Loved Ones from Neglect and Abuse

There is no foolproof method for keeping your loved one safe. Still, there are some steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of neglect and abuse.

Visit Regularly and at Different Times

Regular visits can be a source of comfort and a way to monitor your family member’s well-being. It gives them something to look forward to. However, unpredictable visits are also important because they can help you get a sense of how care is administered on a daily basis. 

Speak to Staff and Residents

Interacting with the staff who provide care can provide invaluable insights into the environment. Ask them to discuss specific observations about your loved one’s medications and dietary needs. Point out any areas needing improvement, such as soiled bed linens. Your interest shows that you are paying attention. 

Be familiar with the Nursing Home’s Policies

Understand the procedures for filing complaints and the avenues for reporting abuse or neglect. Educate yourself about residents’ rights and the nursing home’s responsibilities. You might also want to review the policies for that specific institution. 

Document and Report Any Concerns

Record any unusual or concerning circumstances, e.g., unpleasant odors, and include dates and times. Report your concerns to the nursing home administrators and follow up.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Nursing home abuse and neglect can profoundly affect older adults, often resulting in emotional distress such as anxiety, fear, and a loss of trust in others. When caregivers neglect their duties, whether through staffing issues or inadequate training, this vulnerable population can sustain significant harm, ranging from severe illness to injury or, in the worst cases, death. 

Hiring an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can ensure that your loved one’s rights are recognized and upheld during the legal process. We work hard to build a case against the nursing home to recover compensation for your losses and damages. Schedule a free consultation with Crowe Arnold & Majors today. Since we work on a contingency fee basis, you will not pay attorney’s fees unless we win compensation for you or your family member.