Entrusting a loved one’s care to a nursing home facility is rarely a decision that is made lightly. While most of these facilities are dedicated to creating a safe and loving home away from home for their residents, understaffing and other systemic problems can result in abuse and neglect.
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one of every 10 older Americans (age 60 and up) experiences some form of elder abuse. But sadly, only one of every 14 victims reports the abuse. If unexplained bruises or cuts cause you to suspect your elderly loved one is being neglected or abused, a Fort Worth unexplained bruises or cuts lawyer can assess your concerns and investigate on your behalf. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 for a free consultation.
Know the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Vulnerable because of their age and often physically dependent on their nursing home caregivers for even the most basic of daily tasks, seniors can be afraid to voice their concerns or report abuse.
Therefore, it is critical that we advocate on their behalf and recognize the signs of nursing home neglect and abuse. Neglect and abuse do differ slightly. Neglect, which is often a result of understaffed facilities and stressed caregivers, refers to instances when a nursing home fails to provide the care required for their patients’ well-being. Abuse, on the other hand, refers to intentional acts of mistreatment.
Three common signs of nursing home neglect and abuse are:
- Unexplained bruises or cuts: Unexplained bruises or cuts can signal a failure to provide proper supervision or support, lack of daily care, intentionally harmful handling of residents, and more.
- Sudden emotional changes: A notable shift in your loved one’s mood due to depression, anxiety, or stress should alert you to potential neglect or abuse.
- Lack of proper staffing or sudden staffing changes: A sudden decrease in staff members or unexpected turnover can indicate systemic issues within the facility. These issues often leave staff members feeling rushed, frustrated, and more likely to hurry through patient care or take their frustrations out on patients.
Legal Options for Suspected Neglect or Abuse
Accidents do happen. By no means do bruises or cuts on your loved one always signal abuse. But, if bruises or cuts develop, you are entitled to a full and reasonable explanation of how they happened and what was done to treat them. If this explanation is not given or you find the explanation insufficient, a Fort Worth unexplained bruises and cuts lawyer can investigate and discuss your options for legal recourse.
Texas Administrative Code (TAC) mandates that nursing homes must adhere to certain standards and states that “each resident must receive and the facility must provide the necessary care and services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychological well-being” possible.
Under TAC, every nursing home resident in Texas is entitled to:
- Care that allows for the best quality of life possible
- Access to services required to maintain good nutrition, grooming, and hygiene
- Access to any needed medical care
- A comprehensive plan that outlines their unique needs for housing, medication, services, etc.
In addition to these mandates on quality of care, TAC 19.602 outlines the exact steps a nursing home facility should take when presented with complaints of neglect, abuse, or mistreatment. It also protects residents and families from retaliation.
Statute of Limitations
If you believe your loved one is being neglected or abused in a nursing home, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003 states that all claims must be filed within two years of the incident. A Fort Worth unexplained bruises or cuts lawyer can help expedite the process to ensure that you comply with the statute of limitations. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free case review.
For a free legal consultation with a Fort Worth Unexplained Bruises or Cuts or Burns Lawyer serving Fort Worth, call (800) 794-0444
Steps to Take if You Suspect Neglect or Abuse
If your loved one has unexplained bruises or cuts that you believe were caused by neglect or abuse, there are a number of steps you can take to give your loved one a voice and help protect their rights.
- Call 9-1-1 if your loved one is in immediate danger.
- Check in with your loved one. Understand that they may be reluctant to share and reassure them that you will try to resolve any issues that are affecting their care, including removing them from the situation if necessary.
- Speak to your loved one’s case manager about your concerns.
- Seek counsel from a Fort Worth unexplained bruises or cuts lawyer to ensure that you understand your legal rights and options for compensation.
- Contact Adult Protective Services if you feel the facility is behaving in an abusive manner and want to protect others from experiencing the same pain as your family.
Fort Worth Fort Worth Unexplained Bruises or Cuts or Burns Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Fight for Your Loved One’s Rights
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported more than 643,000 elder abuse-related emergency room visits between the years of 2002-2016. This is unacceptable.
Your loved one deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Unexplained bruises or cuts can be clear signs that their nursing home is not a safe environment. Any incident that causes physical bruising or lacerations should be addressed and resolved immediately.
If you believe that your loved one’s injuries are the result of nursing home neglect or abuse, let our caring team of Fort Worth unexplained bruises or cuts lawyers fight for justice for your family. To get started, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 for a free case evaluation.