Common Signs of Nursing Home AbuseBy Stewart J. Guss on February 20th, 2014
Photo by: McBeth
As people age, they often develop medical conditions or other issues that may require long-term and around-the-clock medical care. Nursing homes and other assisted living facilities exist to fulfill these needs, and generally provide excellent care to their residents and hire staff that treats residents with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, there are facilities that do not abide by these standards, and each year thousands of people are injured or suffer due to nursing home abuse. These injuries can significantly affect a person’s quality of life and may even be fatal in certain circumstances. As a result, anyone who suspects that they or their loved one has been the victims of nursing home abuse or neglect should consult with an experienced Houston personal injury attorney as soon as possible to determine whether they have a claim.
In an effort to maintain the quality of the care provided by Texas nursing homes, the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) regulates nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. In addition, nursing homes that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding are required to comply with certain federal laws that impose minimum standards and establish patient rights. Any non-compliance with these regulations may be sufficient to establish legal liability in the event of an accident or injury. In addition, general principles of negligence apply to nursing home facilities and staff, meaning that people injured in nursing home may have multiple theories under which they could recover.
Nursing home abuse differs from neglect in that it is the result of intentional maltreatment by nursing home staff. In order to protect our loved ones from nursing home abuse, it is important to know the signs and symptoms that may be present when such mistreatment is occurring. Some of the more common signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse or neglect include:
· Bed sores
· Unexplained bruises
· Unsanitary conditions
· Broken bones
· Emotional withdrawal
· Under medicating
· Over medicating
· Fear of being touched
There are many other potential signs that a nursing home patient may be suffering from abuse or neglect, and any suspicions should be thoroughly investigated. If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect is happening, you should first make sure your loved one is safe and outside of any immediate danger. Next, the agency in Texas that handles reports of nursing home abuse or neglect is the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Finally, be sure to call an attorney as soon as possible to make sure that your legal rights are protected.