Making the choice to place a beloved elderly family member in a nursing home or assisted living facility is often an emotionally charged decision. Every year, countless families face the challenging task of finding a suitable place for their aging parents or grandparents, where they hope their loved ones will be cared for with dignity and compassion. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that nursing home abuse and neglect are on the rise in the United States, turning what should be a place of safety and care into one of victimization and harm. At Daly & Black, P.C., our team of dedicated Angleton Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers is committed to addressing this troubling issue and providing the legal assistance needed to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Aging is an inevitable journey, but spending one’s twilight years in conditions of humiliation, danger, or neglect is an unacceptable reality. Approximately 40% of Americans over 65 years old reside in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, where, alarmingly, abuse is a tangible threat. According to the National Center for Adult Abuse, an estimated two million seniors in the United States suffer from some form of abuse by those responsible for their care each year. Even more concerning is that for every reported incident of nursing home abuse, up to five may go unreported. Studies indicate that seniors subjected to abuse often have a shorter lifespan compared to those receiving proper care, irrespective of their medical conditions. At Daly & Black, P.C., our Angleton Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers are deeply committed to combating this grave issue.
If your elderly loved one has been abused or neglected, you may notice symptoms, such as:
- Malnourishment or dehydration
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Soiled bed sheets or clothing
- Medications not being administered or administered improperly
Some of the most common forms of nursing home abuse and neglect are listed below.
Slip and Fall Accidents
While dangerous at any age, slip and fall accidents can have dire, life altering consequences for our elderly family members. If you suspect your loved one was the victim of a slip and fall due to the inattention of the nursing home staff, we will focus on your legal case so you can focus on getting your elderly family member proper and immediate medical attention.
When analyzing a nursing home slip and fall case, our lawyers will investigate every circumstance surrounding the incident, including:
- Staff response to the accident and injury
- Environmental factors, such as adequate lighting, railing and floor safety
- Lack of supervision
- Your loved one’s specific needs
Broken and Fractured Bones
You made the decision to place your loved one in the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility because the patient’s health is in a fragile state. Nursing home residents are at a high risk for suffering from broken and fractured bones, particularly to the:
Although the majority of these injuries occur from a slip and fall accident due to insufficient supervision, some injuries sadly result from physical abuse from callous and aggressive staff members. Our team of personal injury lawyers and nursing home abuse lawyers are well-experienced to investigate if your loved ones have been mistreated.
Bedsores and Pressure Sores
Bedsores, medically known as pressure ulcers, often develop in individuals who are confined to a bed or wheelchair, unable to change positions frequently. This prolonged pressure disrupts blood flow to specific areas of the body, resulting in damage to skin cells and other tissues deprived of essential nutrients. For elderly patients with limited mobility, bedsores are a significant health concern. Without proper treatment, these sores can escalate into dangerous, sometimes life-threatening infections.
It’s imperative for staff in care facilities to be thoroughly trained in both preventing and treating bedsores. Despite adequate training, challenges such as understaffing or caregiver overload can hinder the provision of necessary care for every resident. At Daly & Black, P.C., our Angleton Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers are dedicated to addressing such mistreatment. We advocate for the rights of your loved ones, ensuring they receive the standard of care they deserve, and are committed to seeking justice for any neglect or abuse in nursing homes.
Bedrail entrapment for elderly patients is a genuine concern. Bedrails are placed as a safety measures to keep your loved one from rolling or falling out of bed. Unfortunately, bedrails often turn a place of comfort into a dangerous trap. An elderly patient can get trapped:
- Between the end of the rail and the headboard
- Between the end of the mattress and the headboard
- Between split bedrails
- With the limbs or head in or under the rail
- Between the rail and the mattress
Ensuring adequate nutrition is crucial for maintaining health, particularly for elderly individuals in nursing homes. In these facilities, staff members bear the responsibility for monitoring and managing residents’ dietary needs. Neglect in this aspect can have severe consequences, placing your elderly family member at risk of malnutrition. This risk may stem from several factors, including inadequate meal planning, insufficient dietary accommodations, or lack of attentive care in ensuring residents consume sufficient and appropriate food:
- Dietary restrictions because of allergies or religion
- Inability to feed themselves because of depression, confusion or dementia
- Difficult chewing because of missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures
Hydration is a basic yet vital necessity, especially for elderly patients in nursing homes. However, without vigilant supervision from nursing home staff, residents can quickly become dehydrated. Often, this issue arises from insufficient staff training or inadequate staffing levels. Dehydration in the elderly, particularly those in frail health, can lead to severe health complications. As Angleton Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Daly & Black, P.C., we are acutely aware of these risks such as:
- Kidney failure
- Risk of urinary tract infections
- Poor digestion
Wandering and Elopement
Nursing home staff and administrators must keep a watchful eye over those in their care. If your loved one suffers an injury while wandering around the facilities, or is hurt after leaving the facility premises unsupervised (called elopement), the nursing home may be held liable. Our nursing home abuse attorneys will investigate the case to find out if:
- Your elderly family member was placed on a special floor that required codes to enter or exit the facility
- Receptionists were trained and alert
- An operational camera was placed over the exit doors
- The staff is properly trained
- The facility provided adequate staff for proper supervision
Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes
Emotional health is linked directly to longevity. When your loved one is faced with emotional abuse, it impacts not only his or her quality of life, but also the duration of life itself. Emotional abuse of the elderly may include:
- Mocking the patient
- Terrorizing the patient
- Ignoring the patient
- Isolating the patient from other residents or activities
- Intimidation through yelling and threats
Nursing home abuse can take many forms. Unfortunately, unlike physical abuse, nursing home emotional abuse can be extremely difficult to identify. Sudden behavior changes are a leading indicator of nursing home emotional abuse. These behavioral changes include:
- Uncharacteristic aggression or agitation
- Withdrawal from the nursing home community
- Displaying visible discomfort around the nursing home staff
- New habits such as rocking, nail biting and similar nervous reactions
Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
The prevalence of sexual abuse in nursing homes is a deeply unsettling reality, one that often catches families by surprise. Vulnerable due to their frailty or inability to defend themselves, elderly patients can become easy targets for sexual predators. This vulnerability is especially pronounced in seniors who may have lost their ability to communicate effectively due to conditions like strokes or other physical impairments.
At Daly & Black, P.C., our Angleton Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers are dedicated to confronting this grave issue. We understand the profound impact such abuse can have.
Sexual abuse is any form of non-consensual sexual contact, including sexual harassment, sexually-explicit photography, sexual coercion inappropriate touching and rape. Sexual abuse in nursing homes encompasses a range of non-consensual acts, including:
- Sexual abuse by a nursing home staff member
- Sexual abuse by another resident
- Sexual abuse by a stranger
- Sexual abuse by a family member
The following signs may indicate that your loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse. Our nursing home abuse lawyers can help:
- Fear or anxiety when a particular staff member approaches to help the resident bathe, dress or use the toilet
- Rope burns on wrists or ankles
- Stained or bloody sheets
- Torn, stained or bloodied undergarments
- Unexplained genital irritation or injury
- Unexplained sexually transmitted disease
- Bruising on the inner thighs, genital areas or breasts
- Unexplained difficulty with walking or sitting
The most common form of non-physical abuse of the elderly is financial exploitation. When faced with a trusting, mentally incapacitated nursing home patient, an unscrupulous caregiver may:
- Steal the patient’s identity
- Authorize withdrawals or transfers of money
- Forge signatures
- Steal money, checks or belongings
- Misuse the elderly patient’s credit cards, checks or accounts
Beside outright thievery and misuse of funds, some people often try to swindle nursing home residents out of their money with common scams promoting fake charities, shady investment opportunities or phony “prizes”.
Nursing Home Abuse and Wrongful Death
Tragically, instances of nursing home abuse can sometimes escalate to such a severe and prolonged level that they lead to the untimely death of a resident. This represents one of the most heart-wrenching experiences any family member can face.
Nursing homes have a fundamental duty to ensure a safe environment, employ trustworthy staff, and provide adequate care for their residents. The wellbeing and safety of your loved one is a primary responsibility of these facilities. Sadly, common causes of fatalities linked to nursing home abuse can range from neglect leading to severe medical conditions, untreated bedsores turning septic, to the consequences of physical or emotional trauma. At Daly & Black, P.C., our Angleton Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers are deeply committed to holding nursing homes accountable and seeking justice for families who have lost a loved one due to causes such as:
- Unwillingness to summon outside medical support
- Misdiagnosis or poor treatment by on-site medical staff
- Medication errors
- Neglect leading to malnourishment or untreated diseases
- Explicit physical abuse, including beatings
Damages in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
If your elderly loved one has been injured because of nursing home abuse or neglect, our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers will aggressively fight for the justice and compensation you deserve, which may include:
- Economic damages, including compensation for past, present and future medical costs and other out-of-pocket expenses
- Non-economic damages, including the loss of quality of life, as well as emotional pain and suffering
- Physical impairment or disfigurement, including compensation for physical disabilities or scars
- End of life expenses, including funeral costs and loss of companionship.
- Punitive damages: Issued as punishment for outrageous conduct.