Dallas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Seniors who live in a nursing home expect superior medical, physical, mental, and emotional care. The ideal nursing home, also called a skilled nursing facility, should be clean and pleasant. The staff should be trained and understanding. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents become victims of neglect and abuse. These elderly victims often do not speak out because they are frail and fearful of their abusers. They may also be physically unable to communicate their distress.
Nursing home abuse violates Texas law and the legal rights of aged citizens. You can get help from a nursing home abuse lawyer in Dallas, TX if you suspect a loved one is being neglected or abused. You should know your legal options. To find out how an attorney can help, please call 800-516-4783 for a free consultation.
How to Identify Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing homes provide round the clock residential care for senior citizens who need medical support. It is important to note that skilled nursing homes are different from Assisted Living Facilities (ALF). Although both serve the elderly, an ALF is a non-medical residence designed for seniors who are more self-reliant in daily living. A Dallas nursing home abuse lawyer will advocate for abused or neglected seniors in either type of facility.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect:
- Recurrent complaints of inadequate or abusive care
- Unexplained bruises and bumps
- Sudden weight loss, dehydration, and other signs of malnutrition
- Abrupt or unexplained mood changes
- Indications of over medicating or withholding medication
- Bed sores or lesions on bedridden residents
- Withdrawal from normal activities and interests
- Loss of personal items such as jewelry and cash
- Leaving the premises unsupervised
Abuse and neglect can occur in both luxurious and modest facilities. Twenty-five percent of the 1,200 long-term care facilities in Texas fall short of meeting state standards, according to a 2017 news story in The Austin Chronicle. Both the facility owner and staff face legal and financial consequencs if abuse if proven. Seniors do not lose their rights with age. The state requires nursing homes to clearly display the rights of the elderly.
Who Can Report Nursing Home Abuse
Victims of nursing home abuse usually do not file a report or complaint themselves. Please keep in mind that these are elderly individuals who may have significant health issues. This is why they are prey to unscrupulous nursing home staff and personnel, who know that their victims are unable or afraid to speak out. That is why it is vital that adult children or close friends report the abuse and pursue legal action if needed.
Who should you tell if you suspect that a loved one is being abused or neglected? You have a few choices, but simply reporting the abuse is only the first step. Those who have caused harm to their elderly patients should face proper consequences. You and your loved one may also be eligible for compensation for medical bills, property loss, and pain and suffering.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
If there are signs of physical abuse or neglect, it is important to take immediate action. A nursing facility that promotes, tolerates, or hides abuse of its residents must be held accountable. There are a few options for reporting abuse:
- Call the police if it is a dire situation and immediate intervention is needed.
- Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in Dallas for a safe and confidential legal advocate who can also file a lawsuit for recoverable compensation. Most attorneys offer free consultations by phone, email, or in person. To talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer in Dallas, please call 800-516-4783.
- Your lawyer will notify the facility administrator in writing with a detailed account of suspected abuse or neglect. He or she will also contact the Texas Attorney General’s office with a formal complaint.
Suggested Actions After Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
After a report is filed, state or local agencies should begin an investigation into potential nursing home abuse. It usually takes time before allegations are investigated and the facility and its staff are held accountable. Most family members want their elderly relative moved into a different facility as soon as possible. This can be costly, especially if the current home refuses to refund security deposits or other monies.
Moving can take its toll on the elderly, even when changing residences is a necessity. Here are a few suggestions on making this transition easier:
- Research the new facility and check for any violations with the proper government agencies.
- Visit the Department of Health and Human Services website for a list of nursing homes in Dallas.
- Talk to residents and family members at the new facility. You should speak with them without a facility manager or administrator present. A frank discussion can reveal potential problems.
- Visit the facility at least twice with one of those visits unannounced.
- Look around the entire facility to check its cleanliness.
- Ask about staff and if the facility employs more than the required minimum of caregivers, registered nurses, and aides. Look for a low staff-to-patient ratio.
- After the move, visit often. Residents who have frequent visitors are more visible and less likely to become a victim.
A Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Dallas Can Help
It is helpful to speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer about legal options. There may be recoverable damages for medical bills, moving expenses, and mental and physical pain and suffering. Our legal team will advocate for you and your elderly loved one. We offer free, confidential consultations at your home or our office. You typically are not charged attorney fees unless and until compensation is successful.
To speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Dallas, TX, please call 800-516-4783.