Houston Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Fighting Elder Abuse and Neglect in Texas
The decision whether or not to place a family member in a nursing home is never easy. However, once the decision has been made, we expect that our loved ones' needs will be met and that they will be taken care of. We put our trust in these care homes to watch over over loved ones and provide them a safe environment.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and nursing home residents are at high risk for abuse at the hands of care staff or other residents. There are many reports of victims of nursing home abuse suffering from neglect, sexual assault, and financial exploitation. Whether due to understaffing stress, poor corporate policies, or outright greed, this form of elder abuse is all too common.
If your family member has been injured or killed due to neglect or abuse from nursing home staff, it is time to call a Houston elder abuse attorney to help your loved one seek justice. Our personal injury lawyers can help you with filing a claim and recovering the damages you and your loved ones need to heal.
Understanding Nursing Home Regulations in Texas
Texas has strict laws regarding all nursing homes operating in the state. Care homes and nurses who violate these regulations can be subject to high penalties and, in some cases, prison time.
Texas elder law makes the following actions in nursing homes illegal:
- Physical and mental abuse of residents
- Involuntary seclusion of residents from others
- Inappropriate usage of residential property by caretakers
- Violation of a resident's right to privacy and dignity
- Keeping improper and unsanitary facilities
- Neglecting to regularly wash a resident's clothing
- Denial of proper healthcare for a resident's unique issues
- Denial of access to water or nutritious foods
Texas requires nursing home facilities to have a registered nurse on site all seven days of the week. Medical professionals such as physicians, dentists, and mental health professionals must also be on site or otherwise available to residents. Additionally, al nursing homes must have a procedure in place in the event of infectious disease.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Not all injuries can be avoided in nursing homes. However, as the population ages, more people are placed in nursing and retirement homes. Elderly persons in such homes are often at the mercy of staff members. In this time, cases of nursing home abuse and neglect are becoming more and more common.
Some signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Bed sores
- Unexplained broken bones
- Bruising consistent with restraint trauma
- Repeated reports of falls
- Unexplained changes to mental health
- Genital trauma
- Contraction of a venereal disease
- Lack of basic personal care
- Wrongful death
Certain care home patients are also more at risk for abuse. These can include patients with mental and physical disabilities or those with additional needs in comparison with the average resident. Residents are especially at risk if they have impaired communication abilities. Abused residents may even perpetuate abuse against other residents if there is a lack of oversight over patients.
Mental Health Patients in Nursing Homes
Throughout the state of Texas, a number of mental health hospitals have closed. Subsequently, many of these patients are being housed in nursing facilities. Most of these homes are not designed to meet the needs of mental health patients, and as a result, these patients may threaten the safety of elderly residents. In many cases, failure to provide appropriate security can create exposure to elderly abuse or assault.
Our first priority is to keep your loved one safe. We are committed to holding nursing homes accountable for their acts of neglect and abuse. Nursing facilities have a duty to ensure your loved ones are protected, and when nursing homes fail in that duty we can help you make them pay.
Suing for Nursing Home Negligence
If your family member has suffered any of the above, our elder abuse lawyers can help you investigate whether nursing home abuse or neglect occurred.
Some of the factors we look at include:
- Medical records
- Possible understaffing
- Quantity and quality of nourishment
- Staff to resident ratio
- The nursing home's history
In the state of Texas, nursing home abuse is a serious offense, often considered a felony charge. Convicted offenders could face serious prison time. In addition, the victim and their family can file charges against the nursing home and offending parties to recover damages and ensure the nursing facilities are permanently shut down.
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Do you suspect your loved one was the victim of abuse or neglect in a long-term care facility? Our lawyers are experienced in pursuing nursing home abuse cases. We can listen to your concerns and let you know what we can do to help you during a free consultation.