Elder lady sitting alone in her room staring out a window at the rain.

The difference between elder abuse and neglect in Texas is that the former involves intentional acts, while neglect is often passive. When someone moves into a nursing home, they typically do so because they are no longer fully independent. Therefore, they rely upon the nursing home staff to meet their daily needs, making nursing home abuse inexcusable– because the residents are so vulnerable.

What is Elder Abuse?

Dallas elder abuse lawyers should have an in-depth knowledge of the laws in our state. In Texas, elder abuse includes the following:

  • Involuntary seclusion
  • Intimidation, humiliation, or harassment
  • Threats of punishment
  • Deprivation
  • Hitting, slapping, pinching, kicking, or any corporal punishment
  • Sexual assault, sexual coercion, or sexual harassment
  • Verbal abuse
  • Any spoken, written or gestured communication that includes disparaging or derogatory terms– regardless of the person’s ability to hear or comprehend

A qualified personal injury attorney knows that not all elder abuse is physical, as it can also be verbal or emotional. It can also include exploiting the individual or violating their fundamental rights.

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What Are Some Signs of Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse may be easier to identify in some cases than elderly neglect. Examples of elder abuse include the following:

  • Unexplained broken bones, fractures, sprains, ligament or joint damage, cuts, lacerations, bruises, or swelling
  • Bleeding
  • A noticeable change in the elder’s affect, such as withdrawal, increased sensitivity, or depression
  • Unexplained mood swings or aggression
  • Fear of physical contact with others

What is Elder Neglect?

Texas law informs us that elder neglect includes the failure of a caretaker to provide the goods or services, including medical services, which are necessary to avoid physical or emotional harm. Unlike elder abuse, neglect can be either active or passive on the part of the wrongdoer.

If the nursing home is understaffed or if they are undertrained, then the neglect is more likely to be passive. Here are some common examples of neglect that a Dallas elder abuse lawyer will typically see:

  • The nursing home fails to provide the resident with basic needs, such as food, hydration, medical assistance, shelter, items for personal hygiene, heat, or air conditioning
  • Excessively medicating the individual or failing to provide the resident with the proper medication
  • Not moving them properly or frequently, resulting in bedsores
  • Failing to assist them in their daily personal hygiene

What are some Signs of Elder Neglect?

Some of the signs that Dallas elder abuse lawyers look for to identify elder neglect include the following:

  • Dehydration, malnutrition, bedsores, or sepsis
  • The elder may feel smothered or isolated by a particular caregiver, thereby rendering it difficult to speak openly and freely or associate with others
  • A noticeable decline in personal hygiene
  • Linens that have not been changed in a long time
  • Bottles of medication that are always full because the pills are not being administered
  • The elder is tired more frequently than usual
  • Sudden or unexplained loss of weight
  • The nursing home resident does not have necessities such as hearing aids, glasses, dentures, canes, walkers, prostheses, and more

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Here is What You Should Do if You Suspect Elder Abuse or Neglect

If you have a loved one that checks into a nursing home, the last thing you want to see is elder abuse or neglect of a vulnerable person in their golden years. Unfortunately, nursing homes often do everything possible to hide or deny that this occurs. That is where having an experienced Dallas personal injury lawyer on your side to identify these issues can help hold the nursing home accountable for its mistakes and maximize your financial recovery.

Contact us for a free consultation

If you believe a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse or neglect, call our attorneys at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP today to schedule your free consultation. You can reach us 24 hours a day, and we never collect a fee unless you win.