San Antonio Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Lawyers
Elderly Patient with Nurse

What Should I Do If I Suspect Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse?

In 2017, Texas residents were shocked when the AARP released a report claiming that “Texas nursing home quality is shamefully poor and, according to several studies, worse than what exists in most states.” This report followed a 2014 assessment that ranked Texas second to last when it comes to maintaining the safety and well-being of nursing home residents.

Because these for-profit facilities are critically underfunded and understaffed, many elderly residents are suffering abuse from inexperienced and overwhelmed caretakers. In fact, Texas ranks third in the nation when it comes to serious violations for:

  • Broken bones
  • Assaults
  • Burn injuries

Defining Abuse & Neglect

Nursing home residents are extremely vulnerable to acts of manipulation and abuse. Each year, there are approximately 2 million cases of nursing abuse reported across the country. Sadly, most cases go unreported because residents are threatened or manipulated by their exploitative caretakers. The only way to protect your loved one is to visit their facility and determine for yourself if you have grounds to file a claim. For this reason, it’s crucial that you understand what behaviors actively constitute “abuse” and “neglect.”

Signs of neglect include, but are not limited to:

  • Dirty and unsafe living conditions
  • Inadequate or spoiled food
  • Medication errors
  • Poor hygiene
  • Malnourishment
  • Dehydration
  • Bed sores
  • Unusual weight loss

Signs of physical abuse include, but are not limited to:

  • Suspicious injuries
  • Skin discoloration
  • Broken hearing aids or glasses
  • Lack of mobility aids
  • Sprains
  • Sexual abuse
  • Improper use of restraints

Signs of mental and emotional abuse include, but are not limited to:

  • Threatening the resident
  • Intimidating the resident
  • Insulting the residents
  • Isolating the resident
  • Gaslighting the resident
  • Yelling at the resident
  • Manipulating the resident

Signs of financial exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • Theft of assets or property
  • Empty bank accounts
  • Unauthorized withdrawals
  • Questionable charges on credit cards
  • Unpaid housing or pharmacy bills
  • Identify theft
  • Forged signatures
  • Suspicious estate plan modifications

We rely on nursing home facilities to provide our elderly loved ones with dependable health and personal care services. Most residents live at these facilities permanently because they have ongoing physical or cognitive conditions that necessitate full-time care and supervision. No one wants to believe that they are leaving their loved ones in the hands of calculating and unscrupulous caretakers. The only way that you guarantee your family member’s safety is to visit them often and learn more about the facility.

You can protect your loved one by:

  • Visiting frequently and at irregular hours
  • Keep a running record of any issues or problems you notice
  • Meet with the administrators and staff members caring for your relative
  • Talking to other residents and their family members
  • Share a meal with the residents to verify the food quality
  • Pay attention to resident/staff member interactions
  • Read and review any contracts carefully—if you can, work with an attorney to remove a forced arbitration clause
  • Compare facilities to make quality determinations
  • Work with a qualified lawyer to learn more about your relative’s legal rights
  • File a complaint with the appropriate state agency
  • Pursue a civil lawsuit

You need to trust your gut instincts when it comes to your family members. If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected or abused, your first action is to remove them from the facility as quickly as possible. If you’re still uncertain, you can always visit your relative and takes notes about their fluctuating physical and emotional condition.

It’s important to plan any visits at random times of the day so that staff members can’t prepare for your arrival in advance. If you need to take legal action, call the San Antonio nursing home neglect attorneys at Maloney Law Group, P.L.L.C. today. Our experienced litigators can help you pursue compensation that ensures your loved one receives the medical and nursing care they deserve.

Rely on Experienced & Trial-Tested Legal Representation

Maloney Law Group, P.L.L.C. has been protecting the rights of nursing home residents for over 30 years. Our legal team has a comprehensive understanding of the protocols and regulations associated with neglect and abuse claims.

By investigating your case and consulting with experts, we can develop a litigation strategy that reflects your legal and financial objectives. With our help, you can recover compensation that facilitates your relative’s recovery.

Contact Maloney Law Group, P.L.L.C. at (210) 361-2997 to schedule a free consultation.