Winning a nursing home abuse claim requires the expertise of a Houston nursing home abuse lawyer. Find out how a nursing home abuse lawyer can help you.
Nursing home abuse is a pretty worrying occurrence in Houston, Texas. Coupled with the low ratings of Texas nursing homes in terms of quality of service, incidences of nursing home abuse have continually posed a severe challenge. However, if you or your loved ones have suffered abuse in Houston, Texas, it is possible to seek justice. A Houston nursing home abuse lawyer can walk you through your legal options.
Nursing home abuse cases have become more frequent over the years. Incidences have resulted in severe and unfortunate physical and psychological damage to the victims. Nursing home abuse has also led to death. Therefore, it is essential to report any incident to the relevant authorities, even at the stage of suspicion.
To benefit from the federal and state protections for nursing home incidents, you will first need to understand what constitutes nursing abuse. Also, knowing what protections are available to you and what roles nursing home abuse attorneys can play in an abuse case is essential. Contact WestLoop Law if you or a loved one suffered from nursing home abuse.
What Is Considered Nursing Home Abuse?
The scope of nursing home abuse covers any form of physical or emotional harm. Nursing home abuse also involves any form of exploitation that nursing home residents suffer.
For example, theft or extortion of property, especially money, counts as abuse. Nursing home abuse also involves any form of sexual or verbal assault and negligence by nursing home staff.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Vulnerable nursing home residents face numerous forms of abuse. These forms of abuse include:
Physical abuse is a common form of nursing home abuse. Nursing home staff can take advantage of the vulnerability of residents by physically assaulting them. For example, they can spit on, shove, or kick nursing home residents. Other types of physical abuse include punching, pinching, and biting.
Another form of nursing home abuse is the indiscriminate use of physical restraints. When nursing home staff apply restraints, it should be solely for medical reasons. Also, nursing home staff must only apply restraints for reasonable durations. Finally, nursing home personnel must not use restraints at will or for punitive or malicious purposes.
When patients make attempts to free themselves from restraints, injuries can occur. In addition, extended restraints can result in adverse physical conditions such as muscle challenges and reduced bone mass.
Physical abuse in nursing homes can result in long-lasting harm to residents. Nursing home residents have often suffered various injuries such as cuts, bruises, broken bones, and other severe impairments due to nursing home abuse. Nursing home staff often attempt to either hide these cases, lie about them or deny responsibility for them.
If you see any signs of physical abuse against your vulnerable loved one, get in touch with a Houston nursing home abuse lawyer right away.
Warning Signs of Physical Nursing Home Abuse
There are signs you should look out for if you suspect physical abuse. You should immediately sound the alarm if you spot physical abuse on a nursing home resident. Signs of physical nursing home abuse include:
- Mysterious or constant injuries
- The reluctance of nursing home staff to allow private interaction with your loved ones
- Unexplained weight loss
- Tooth loss
Though hard to imagine, nursing home residents suffer from sexual abuse. Sexual abuse in nursing homes involves any unwanted sexual advances or contact. Examples of sexual abuse in nursing homes include touching residents in sensitive parts of the body, kissing residents, and rape. In addition, many nursing home residents live with physical or mental disabilities, which makes them vulnerable to elder sexual abuse.
For example, perpetrators may take advantage of a resident’s battle with dementia to abuse them. These residents will have a hard time recollecting the experience. Also, it is easy to dismiss the testimony or accusation of a resident who has dementia.
The vulnerability of nursing home residents makes it challenging to track sexual abuse. As a result, many stakeholders fear that the prevalence of elder sexual abuse may even be higher than estimated.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
If your loved one is a nursing home resident, there are signs through which you can detect if they have been victims of nursing home sexual abuse. These signs include:
- Bruises in genital regions
- Mysterious sexually transmitted diseases
By reporting sexual abuse, you can save your loved one from significant physical and emotional harm. In addition, if you detect and report sexual abuse early, you will prevent the abuse from getting worse and protect other residents.
Psychological and Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is a common form of elder abuse in a nursing home. However, this category of abuse is difficult to spot and usually goes unreported. Psychological abuse of elderly residents may be either verbal or non-verbal.
Examples of emotional and verbal abuse of residents in nursing homes include:
- Depriving residents of affection
- Yelling and screaming at residents
- Any acts of humiliation and intimidation
- Jesting and name-calling
- Addressing patients in a degrading way
Examples of non-verbal elder abuse in nursing homes include:
- Hiding the resident’s belongings
- Unwarranted restriction of resident’s movement
- Isolating the resident
- Ignoring the resident
- Restricting access to a nursing home facility, such as the bathroom
- Restricting access to food and water
Emotional abuse in a nursing home can significantly reduce residents’ quality of life. Therefore, it is crucial to spot the signs of emotional elder abuse in assisted living facilities.
Warning Signs of Emotional Nursing Home Abuse
While emotional abuse is difficult to spot or prove, there are warning signs of emotional trauma you can watch out for in a resident. These include:
- Loss of self-esteem or confidence
- Higher levels of stress
If you suspect that your loved one is a nursing home emotional abuse victim, you should pull them out of the facility or make a report.
Elderly residents can face financial abuse in a nursing home. Nursing home administrators must protect nursing home patients from any form of financial manipulation. However, not many nursing homes do enough in this area.
Financial abuse can manifest in several ways. These include:
Misuse of Funds
When loved ones trust a nursing home staff with a resident’s finances, they believe that the resident’s finances are in safe hands. Unfortunately, many times, nursing home staff members breach this trust. Assisted living facility staff, trustees, social security representative payees, and VA fiduciaries can misappropriate a resident’s finances for personal use.
There have been reports of thefts in nursing homes. Residents can have their money stolen by caregivers and other nursing home residents.
There have also been reports of fraud in assisted living facilities. Elderly nursing home residents have been tricked into signing over assets, handing out cash, or providing access to money.
Warning Signs of Financial Nursing Home Abuse
When residents begin to make inquiries about financial issues, you must pay keen attention. In the process, you could spot signs or evidence of financial abuse.
Nursing Home Neglect
Putting your faith in assisted living facilities isn’t out of place. Nursing home managers and healthcare providers owe nursing home patients quality medical and non-medical care. In many instances, nursing home administrators fall short of this responsibility.
Examples of this kind of nursing home negligence include:
- Medication Errors: Nursing staff may administer the wrong and dangerous medication or give residents the wrong doses.
- Unsanitary Living Conditions: Nursing staff members may leave residents in unsanitary conditions, thereby exposing them to health safety hazards.
Many nursing homes fall below acceptable standards of care and become guilty of negligent actions. Nursing home staff can become nonchalant in carrying out their responsibilities.
A nursing home neglect attorney can, through a nursing home neglect lawsuit, provide fair compensation to victims and hold nursing homes accountable.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Notable signs include:
- Complaint of substandard levels of care
- Complaints of staffing shortages
- Complaints of unethical actions in nursing homes
- Complaints of poor nursing facilities
How Do I File a Complaint Against a Nursing Home in Texas?
If you have noticed any signs of nursing home abuse in a Houston, Texas assisted living facility, there are channels to file a report. You can file a complaint to the nurses, nursing home administrators, managers, or the government. In addition, you can make a report to the state government by calling 800-458-9858 from 7 am to 7 pm on weekdays.
You can also make a report to a nurse for abuse cases that aren’t severe. After reporting to a nurse, they can either investigate or contact higher nursing home authorities.
In addition, nurses can communicate with the affected resident to confirm the incidences and verify the facts. If within their power, nurses can also take steps to correct the situation.
If abuse persists after making a report to the nurse, nursing home manager, or healthcare provider, you should contact a Houston nursing home abuse lawyer.
How Can a Houston Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Help?
Nursing home neglect attorneys have the training and experience to hold nursing homes accountable for acts of abuse and negligence. An elder abuse lawyer is the right match for nursing homes that attempt to evade responsibility for unethical and careless nursing practices. In addition, nursing home abuse lawyers can secure fair compensation for victims on the negotiation table or punitive damages.
Here’s how a Houston nursing home abuse lawyer can help out:
- Conduct investigations
- Retrieve evidence such as medical records
- Secure witness testimony
- File a personal injury claim
- Represent the abuse victim in court
Contact a Houston Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer at WestLoop Law to Get Justice
Nursing home abuse victims are entitled to compensation for abuse from nurses, visitors, residents, or other nursing home staff members. The personal injury lawyers at WestLoop Law have solid experience and an impressive track record in winning nursing home abuse lawsuits.
At WestLoop Law, you will get comprehensive legal advice and aggressive negotiation from an experienced Houston nursing home abuse lawyer. Contact us now to get your case reviewed.