Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

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One of the most horrible crimes in our society is the abuse of elderly individuals at the hands of the very people paid and entrusted with their care. The attorneys at Zinda Law Group are committed to the proper care of all elderly citizens of Austin and the State of Texas, using our knowledge and experience to help victims of such heinous abuse receive the justice and compensation they deserve.

Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation: Legal Definitions

In Texas, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are considered guilty of abuse if an elderly person is subject to abuse, neglect or exploitation. The legal definitions of these terms are:

1. Abuse: Willful physical injury or battery, unnecessary chemical or physical restraints, and verbal or psychological abuse.

2. Neglect: Failure to provide attentive care or nourishment that leads to physical injury or emotional harm, such as unsanitary conditions, inadequate medical care or living conditions, development of bed sores and improper administration of medications.

3. Exploitation: Use of a patient’s resources for monetary gain, including Social Security Numbers, Social Security checks or personal property.

Bed Sores: Separating Fact from Fiction

Regardless of what a nursing home employee may say, bed sores are not a normal part of the aging process and are an indication of neglect. By law, nursing homes are responsible for the care and prevention of bed sores. This includes the regular turning of incapacitated patients, changing of bed linens and clothing and maintaining proper nutrition and hydration. If allowed to develop, bed sores can lead to serious health conditions, such as limb amputation, infection and death.

Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

  • Physical marks or injuries, especially in easy to conceal places or places where restraints or gags may have been used (wrists, around the mouth).
  • Dehydration, weight loss, infection or sudden illnesses not attributed to a medical condition.
  • Unsanitary surroundings, including dirty floors and furnishings, soiled linens or clothing or improper disposal of medical waste (needles, bandages).
  • Delayed or denied visitation or access to the patient.
  • If your loved one is unable to speak, observe how they react around the staff, such as signs of fear in their eyes or body language.

If you suspect that a loved one is a victim of abuse, immediately report it to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.

How the Attorneys at Zinda Law Group Can Help You

As an Accredited Business with the Better Business Bureau, Zinda Law Group is dedicated to maintaining the trust of our clients and giving them the help and honesty they deserve. While handling your nursing home abuse case, we will be a powerful advocate both in and out of the courtroom, fighting to get you the compensation you will need to pay for the added expenses caused by abuse or neglect. Together we can prevent the guilty parties from committing these horrible crimes in the future.