What to Do If Your Loved One Has Been the Victim of Abuse at a Skilled Nursing Facility
Different patients have different needs and require different kinds of care. Elderly people who only require custodial care can do very well in a nursing home. Custodial care is care that doesn’t have to be performed by a medical professional, like a registered nurse (RN) or physical therapist. Such tasks as helping a patient get in and out of bed, preparing meals for them, bathing and dressing them, and helping them use the bathroom would all be considered examples of custodial care.
Tasks that can only be performed by trained medical professionals fall under what is called “skilled” care. Skilled care constitutes tasks like giving intravenous injections, attending to post operative wounds, drawing blood, performing physical therapy, etc. Assisted living facilities that only provide custodial care are most often referred to as nursing homes, while facilities that provide skilled care are often called skilled nursing facilities.
While staff at a skilled nursing facility may be more highly trained than those at a nursing home, they still may be guilty of elderly abuse. If you or a loved one has experienced mistreatment of any kind in a skilled nursing facility, compensation may be available to you through a civil lawsuit. To find out more about the legal rights and options afforded to you and your family under Texas state law, call a Dallas elder abuse lawyer at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP today. Just dial (800) 738-4046 for a free case evaluation.
Types of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse can come in many forms, including:
- Physical abuse: Hitting, kicking, pinching, pushing, rough handling, restraining, etc.
- Sexual abuse: Unwanted touching, inappropriate or suggestive language, indecent exposure, sexual contact with someone incapable of consenting or denying consent, etc.
- Psychological abuse: Yelling, criticizing, belittling, bullying, mocking, taunting, humiliating, shaming, intimidating, etc.
- Financial exploitation: Stealing personal items, gaining access to a patient’s bank accounts and withdrawing money, using patient’s credit cards, cashing their Social Security checks, buying things on their account without permission, etc.
- Neglect: Withholding food, care, medication, bathing, mail; ignoring signs of illness, etc.
Signs of Elder Abuse
Elderly patients in assisted living facilities can be very vulnerable and are often at the mercy of their caregivers. They may also be unable to communicate what’s going on to their family members and other visitors, due to dementia, stroke, or other reasons. Or, they may be too embarrassed, intimidated, or fearing of reprisal to report abuse. This is why visitors of the patient should remain alert to signs that elder abuse is occurring, including:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, scratches, etc.
- Poor hygiene
- Missing personal items, higher credit card bills and withdrawals from bank accounts
- Unexplained weight loss
- Appearing fearful, withdrawn, reluctant to speak
- Appearing uncomfortable when certain staff members are nearby
- Refusal to eat or take medications
- Caregivers who don’t want to leave you alone with the patient
Speak with an Attorney Today
It’s almost inconceivable that a caregiver would abuse or exploit an elderly person who can’t defend themselves, but unfortunately, it does happen. If you suspect a loved one in an assisted living facility is being mistreated in any way, you need to notify authorities immediately. If elder abuse has occurred, you may be entitled to compensation through a civil lawsuit. To ensure that you and your loved one get the settlement you deserve, it is vital that you have the representation of an experienced personal injury attorney.
For almost 30 years, Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP has been successfully representing injury victims in the greater Dallas area. During that time, we’ve recovered over $110,000,000 for our clients. If you’d like Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP to represent you, call (800) 738-4046 for a free consultation.