Nursing home abuse can happen in any facility. Sometimes the problem is due to a single staff member. Other times it points to a systemic problem within the entire organization. Whichever is the case, the consequences for the victims are often devastating.
Fortunately, the elder care system has built-in safeguards, such as professional advocates and ombudsmen. But sometimes these measures are simply not enough to correct the underlying issue.
When the unthinkable occurs, a consultation with a qualified Garland nursing home abuse attorney can make all the difference in the world.
Common Examples and Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Common forms of neglect and abuse to watch out for at nursing homes in Garland TX include:
- Physical abuse would include any force or intentional contact intended to cause pain. Some examples of this type of abuse include pinching, pushing, shoving, slapping, hitting, punching, objects being thrown at the patient, physical restraint, or using medication to restrain. Signs that physical abuse is occurring may range anywhere from broken eyeglasses to unexplained bruises, swelling, cuts, dislocations, or broken bones.
- Sexual abuse includes any non-consensual contact or exposure of a sexual nature. Examples of sexual abuse include touching, rape, assault, forcing the victim to undress, showing the victim pornographic images, or if the abuser exposes themselves to the victim. Signs that sexual abuse may be transpiring include sexually transmitted diseases, unexplained bruising or pain in the pelvic area, frequent urinary tract infections, or difficulty sitting or walking.
- Emotional abuse in a nursing home occurs when your loved one is treated in such a way that causes emotional, mental, or psychological distress. Examples of emotional abuse include neglect, harassment, intimidation, humiliation, isolation, and bullying. A patient may be a victim of emotional abuse if you notice sudden changes in personality, or he or she becomes unwilling to speak or withdrawn.
- Financial abuse is the unauthorized use of the patient’s property or funds. Examples of this would include forged checks, opening up new accounts in the patient’s name, identity theft, or stealing money. Signs that your loved one may be a victim of financial abuse include unusual activity in an account or unexplained charges or withdrawals from an account.
- Whereas the other types of abuse are intentional, neglect is more of an error of omission that can bring harm to the patient. Examples include illnesses that go untreated, incorrect or missed doses of medication, bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, subpar personal hygiene, and dirty or soiled clothing or bedding.
How Can You Help Prevent or Stop Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
By making frequent visits to the nursing home, paying attention to your loved one’s verbal and non-verbal communication, watching out for any changes in physical or emotional health, and encouraging him or her to open up to you, you can help protect your loved one from nursing home abuse and neglect. If you notice any signs that abuse or neglect is taking place, notify local law enforcement as well as the Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities (DAD). After that, you can contact a Garland personal injury lawyer with experience in cases involving elder abuse to make sure that your loved one’s rights are fully protected.
A Garland nursing home abuse lawyer at Crowe Arnold and Majors, LLP can investigate your case, gather evidence of abuse before it is destroyed or disappeared, capture eyewitness testimony before memories fade, and serve as your knowledgeable and compassionate ally through every step of the process as you pursue justice for your elder loved one.
When it comes to litigation involving nursing home neglect and abuse, experience counts. Here’s why:
- The growing concerns about nursing home personnel: Nursing home managers sometimes cut corners when it comes to selecting staff members, putting the elderly at risk. Determining who’s liable in these situations is a complex task all by itself.
- The troubling issues regarding nursing home rules and regulations: For example, should long-term care facilities use surveillance cameras? This is a matter of fierce debate in the elder care industry. Whatever policy a particular location adopts, the potential for abuse remains ever-present.
- The financial incentives for covering up instances of neglect and abuse: Nursing home owners and managers have a vested interest in maintaining their public image. While this can inspire them to provide the best possible care, it can also pressure them to sweep existing problems under the rug.
- The vulnerability of nursing home residents: Elder abuse is an exploding problem in our society. Yet evidence indicates that it’s vastly underreported, often due to deliberate abuse or intimidation on the part of staff members towards residents.
For all these reasons and more, we urge you to exercise great care when choosing your law firm. Here are some things to look for:
- The right experience: Here at Crowe Arnold and Majors, LLP, nursing home law is one of our primary areas of practice. That’s the kind of focused expertise you should expect in whatever firm you choose.
- The right reputation: Law firms vary widely when it comes to the respect they enjoy among their peers. Crowe Arnold and Majors, LLP is regarded as a leading firm, not only in Garland but across the Lone Star State.
- The right values: Look for a law firm that refuses to charge out-of-pocket fees to its clients. Here at Crowe Arnold and Majors, LLP, we offer free consultations and contingency terms as a matter of policy.
If your loved one has suffered neglect or abuse in a care facility, the time to act is now. Reach out to our office today to schedule a free case review with one of our Garland nursing home abuse lawyers. The statute of limitations restricts the time you have to file a lawsuit for damages, so please contact us as soon as possible to learn your legal rights.