Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
Beaumont, Orange, Port Arthur, Pasadena, Baytown, Atascocita, Texas Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers
Though there have been estimates that as many as 30% of nursing homes have reports of abusing or neglecting their residents, the actual numbers are not known. It could be tens of thousands of elderly people abused each year, or it could be hundreds of thousands. What is known is that these individuals and their families place their trust in an industry that does not have a spectacular track record when it comes to keeping people safe.
Nursing home abuse and neglect is a problem that is only going to get worse as more people are expected to become residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the country. By 2050, there may be as many as 90 million people living out their days in nursing homes. It is important that if you suspect a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect that you contact an experienced Beaumont nursing home negligence attorney. The Beaumont, Texas area law firm of Bush Lewis P.L.L.C. has years of trial experience in going after those who abuse, neglect and exploit the elderly.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There are many types of nursing home abuse that can occur. According to the Elder Abuse Foundation, this kind of abuse is defined as "any act, failure to act, or incitement to act done willfully, knowingly, or recklessly through words or physical action which causes or could cause mental or physical injury or harm or death to an elderly resident." Types of abuse and neglect that occur in nursing homes include:
- Physical abuse – Using force against an elderly resident that causes physical pain, injury or impairment. This includes hitting, kicking, biting, and shoving, as well as using restraints, confinement, or inappropriate drugs.
- Sexual abuse– Although a kind of physical abuse, and one that may include acts that cause bruising or bleeding, this kind of abuse is sexual contact without consent. It includes physical contact, but can also include forcing the resident to look at pornographic material or forcing the resident to undress.
- Emotional abuse– Emotional or psychological abuse that causes emotional pain or distress can be verbal or nonverbal. Verbal forms of abuse include intimidation through yelling, humiliation and ridicule, and constant blaming or scapegoating. Nonverbal abuse may include ignoring the resident, isolating the resident from friends or activities, and menacing or terrorizing.
- Financial exploitation – Using a resident's funds or property without permission can devastate the ability of a resident to meet financial obligations. This type of abuse can be done through unauthorized use of checks, credit cards, or accounts. Stealing cash or personal items, forging the signature of the targeted resident, or engaging in identity theft are all types of exploitation.
- Neglect and abandonment– Failure to care for a resident, either actively or through passive, or unintentional, means is very common in nursing home neglect cases.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, abrasions, burns
- Unexplained broken bones
- Sudden weight loss
- Hidden injuries
- Forced restraints
- Resident complaints
- Depression or withdrawal
- Unwillingness to communicate
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Agitation, fear or hesitancy
- Confusion or disorientation
- Unusual behavioral patterns
- Forced isolation
- Derogatory, rude, or humiliating comments by staff
- Resident complaints
- Missing or stolen money or property
- Sudden selling off of property
- Drastic changes in personal or financial situations
- Resident complaints
- Unsanitary environment
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Unkempt appearance
- Smell of urine or feces
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Untreated medical condition
Reasons Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Occur
Working with nursing home residents is not an easy job. Many of the residents suffer from dementia, declining health, or other issues. In many cases, they rely on the nursing staff for every aspect of their life, including feeding, bathing, and changing. Add to this the low pay, mass turnover, and other daily stresses, and frustration among the nursing staff, and the residents become easy targets.
Many nursing homes are part of larger conglomerates or corporations. There is such thing as a nursing home industry. Just like any other industry, their goal is to make money. If this means attempting to get by with fewer nursing home staff and doctors, then this is what they will do. If this means skimping on equipment that will make the lives of nursing home residents easier and happier, then they will deny them these perks if it saves a few dollars.
It is never okay to injure, neglect, or exploit these elderly residents. They expect and deserve protection from those who are able to give it. Their families trust the nursing staff to take care of their loved ones when family cannot.
If you suspect your relative or loved one has suffered nursing home abuse or neglect, they are sadly probably not alone in their misery. Institutionalized neglect means it is likely that many more residents at that nursing home are suffering on a daily basis. This happens to thousands of individuals across the country. Noticing that your loved one may have suffered abuse or neglect, means removing them to safety, but your job should not end there. You also have a responsibility to bring the situation to the attention of authorities with both civil and criminal proceedings, with the aid of a Port Arthur nursing home neglect attorney. Only then can you ensure that others will not suffer as well.
If your loved one has suffered nursing home abuse or neglect in the areas of Beaumont, Orange, or Port Arthur, Pasadena, Baytown, Atascocita, Texas, please contact the experienced nursing home abuse lawyers at Bush Lewis P.L.L.C. today.