The term “nursing home” can evoke negative images, and, in many cases, these concerns are justified. Still, the level of care required by the elderly is beyond the ability of most families to provide, making a supportive living arrangement necessary.
As a leading Grand Prairie nursing home abuse law firm, we have the experience and knowledge to help if your family member has suffered neglect or abuse. We can thoroughly investigate your case and fight on your behalf for maximum damages.
Before elderly abuse happens, consider preventative measures to keep your loved one safe. Here are five tips for helping an elderly friend or family member adjust to a nursing home environment. Use this information to make the transition as pleasant and positive as possible. If you have further questions, do not hesitate to call us at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP.
Five Tips for Making the Most of a Nursing Home
The following information comes courtesy of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Their recommendations include:
- Communicating cordially yet openly with the nursing home staff: Most personal care professionals are skilled, compassionate people with the best of intentions. But they need your help to understand your loved one’s needs, including their dietary preferences, health profile, and demeanor.
- Playing an active role in the nursing home community: Most locations sponsor regular meetings where friends and family members can share their feedback and gain up-to-date information about the facility. Why not attend some of these gatherings? They’re a great way to stay informed.
- Encourage your loved one to participate in activities at the home: Seniors have a lifetime of talents, abilities, and skills from which to draw. Most nursing homes provide ways for their residents to express their creativity and get to know each other.
- Monitor your loved one’s mental and physical health: Unfortunately, nursing home residents are still subjected to unfair or even abusive treatment. Be vigilant for common warning signs of this problem, such as unusual depression, malnutrition, bedsores, and missing medications or personal items.
- Pay an unannounced visit: Dropping in on your loved one unexpectedly from time to time. It will give you a chance to observe the conditions of their care and spot any early warning signs of neglect.
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What Types of Abuse and Neglect Occurs in Nursing Homes?
Understanding what constitutes nursing home abuse and neglect will help you remain vigilant on behalf of your loved one. Here are some of the common types of abuse and neglect that our nursing home abuse lawyers in Grand Prairie at Crowe Arnold & Majors have seen locally:
- Physical abuse such as pushing, kicking, and hitting
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse such as isolating, taunting, or yelling at the patient
- Being left unattended for extended periods
- Financial abuse
Possible Warning Signs of Elder Abuse or Neglect
To ensure your loved one’s health and safety in a Grand Prairie nursing home, you should be on the lookout for signs indicating that abuse may be occurring, such as the following:
- Bedsores, which often occur when residents are not moved or shifted frequently enough
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Broken or fractured bones
- Unexplained bruises or other injuries on the resident’s body
- Sleep disorders such as fatigue or insomnia
- Infection or illness
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Weight loss
- Heightened irritability
- Significant mood changes such as a marked increase in sadness or shyness
- Reluctance to discuss specific topics
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Dirty linens or clothes
- Unexplainable STD’s
- Unexplained significant changes or updates to a bank account
- Charges to a credit card that do not seem to match the resident’s daily routine
- Prescription medications that either run out sooner than expected or remain fuller than expected
When It’s Time to Talk to a Lawyer
Doing everything you can to ease your loved one’s transition to the nursing home is essential. Still, some problems call for professional legal counsel.
If that is the case, we want you to know that the skilled nursing home abuse attorneys here at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP are here to help. In fact, nursing home law is one of our primary areas of practice. Our expertise can make a world of difference when it comes to obtaining justice for elderly loved ones who are abused.
What You Can Learn in a Consultation with an Attorney
If you suspect that a family member has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, we strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced lawyer. They will inform you of family member’s legal rights, provide tools for building your claim, and provide an estimate of how much the claim may be worth.
For example, your lawyer may explain how you can obtain the resident’s nursing home file or footage of surveillance cameras. Once you have completed this consultation, you will better understand whether or not hiring an attorney may be beneficial for your particular case.
What You Need to Prove in a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
Depending on the facts of your case, you may decide to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. Many cases settle out of court before trial, notably when the nursing home proposes a fair settlement offer. However, not all of them will. If not—it’s crucial to be represented by an experienced elder abuse lawyer.
To prevail in this lawsuit at trial, you will need to prove the following by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that each element was more likely than not to have been met:
- The elder home owed a duty of care to the patient. As long as your loved one was a patient in the home, this element will be met. The duty of care owed to your loved one is a safe living space free from abuse.
- The duty was breached by physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse.
- This breach is what caused your loved one’s injuries.
- The patient was physically or emotionally injured in some way.
Contact Us for a Free Case Review
We have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts for our clients in our never-ending pursuit of justice. We work tirelessly and aggressively to maximize the amount of financial compensation that each client receives.
Worried about legal fees? Don’t be. We offer free case reviews, and we work on contingency. This means you’ll never have to worry about out-of-pocket costs. Get in touch with Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP today for a no-fee consultation with an injury lawyer in Grand Prairie.