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Nursing Home Negligence

It’s incredibly hard to hand over the care of your loved one to a nursing home. Not only is it a big decision, but nursing homes don’t always have the best reputations. In 2012, Adult Protective Services released a report stating that there were 59,595 valid claims of nursing home abuse or neglect. They also estimated that nursing home neglect or abuse has actually increased over the last ten years.

The vulnerability of elderly people makes it easier for nursing homes to get away with neglect. Nursing home staff are required to give their patients a safe environment and any essential needs. If the staff fails to uphold this duty, they could be considered negligent under the law.

If you or your loved one faced nursing home abuse or neglect, contact an experienced attorney.

Attorney for Nursing Home Abuse in Conroe, TX

Unfortunately, millions of elders are abused in nursing homes across the United States. Nursing home abuse or neglect has become a sad reality for many elderly people. However, there’s other options. You may be able to file a claim for nursing home abuse or neglect for a monetary settlement.

Evans & Powell, PLLC have handled many nursing home abuse or neglect cases in Texas civil courts. We believe that no elderly person should be put in an unsafe environment. Our attorneys will use our skills, knowledge and resources to give you the settlement you deserve. Don’t wait a moment longer. Call Evans & Powell, PLLC at (713) 622 - 2000 today for a free consultation.

The attorneys at Evans & Powell, PLLC practice personal injury throughout the greater Conroe area including Houston, Panorama, Willis and Cut and Shoot.

Overview of Nursing Home Negligence in Texas

Statistics for Nursing Home Abuse

Elderly abuse or neglect in nursing home has become a nationwide issue. The following are some statistics collected by the National Council on Again, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center on Elder Abuse.

  • 1 in 10 elderly people over the age of 60 have been abused in a nursing home;
  • Only 1 in 14 nursing homes formally report any nursing home abuse or neglect;
  • 50 percent of elderly residents with dementia are grossly neglected or abused;
  • A 2010 report states that half of nursing home attendants admitted to doing some sort of neglect or abuse to their elderly residents.

Gross Neglect in Nursing Homes

Nursing home staff must be attentive to their resident’s needs. In some cases, attendants or other employees ignore an elderly patient to the point of gross neglect. Patients may go hungry or be dehydrated because the staff is inattentive. Nursing home staff must be aware of their patient’s needs and be trained to notice signs of thirst or hunger.

Some nursing home employees go as far as to restrain their residents. If an elderly resident is challenging, they may restrain them to their beds for some “peace of mind.” Elders with neurodegenerating disorders such as Alzheimer’s or dementia are commonly restrained. Nursing home attendants that utilize restraints may be considered negligent.

Listed below are some signs of gross neglect in nursing homes.

  • The elderly resident is strangely quiet;
  • Lack of social interaction with other elderly residents;
  • Signs of stress such as hair loss or bitten nails;
  • Repeated falls; and
  • Uncharacteristically low self-esteem.

Slip and Trips in Nursing Homes

Falls account for 30 percent of injury-related deaths among senior citizens. A fall may not do a lot of damage to a younger person, but most falls do significant damage to the elderly. Nursing homes are required to be equipped for falling. Nearly all nursing home falls are a result of neglect on the staff.

All nursing homes are required to create fall risk assessments for their residents. A fall risk assessment charts out the normal movements of the resident and installs handicaps to prevent falling. Facilities that don’t create fall risk assessments could be held legally accountable.

Structural factors can also lead to a fall. Nursing home owners and staff must evaluate and maintain the building to avoid any hazards. If the building isn’t properly maintained, it could lead to a fall. Some factors that could lead to a fall include inadequate lighting, absence of bathtub rails, improper bed heights and wet floors.

Supervision is the biggest fall deterrent. Nursing home employees stop more falls than bed rails or other handicap installations. All nursing home facilities must have proper supervision of elderly residents to prevent any future falls.

Bedsores in Nursing Homes

A bed sore is a pressure ulcer that is the result of inattentive care. Nursing home employees are required to attend to their patients to ensure that no bedsores form. Simple tasks such as turning a patient periodically can prevent bedsores. Elderly residents who are confined to a bed are very susceptible to painful bed sores.

It’s the job of nursing home attendants to care for their patients. They should be trained to perform anti-bedsore procedures and perform them regularly. In addition, nursing home staff must consistently wash the resident’s sheets, pillows or mattress if necessary to avoid any bedsores. If bedsores occur, this could be considered a sign of neglect.

How Do I Prove the Nursing Home Was Negligent?

You must prove that the nursing home staff or owner were negligent if you wish to pursue a settlement. Personal injury is based on the doctrine of negligence. A person is negligent if they fail to act or act carelessly in a situation creating a substantial risk. For example, a nursing home attendee who regularly forgets to feed residents is negligent.

If you’d like to receive a settlement for your injuries, you must prove the following elements:

  • The defendant had a duty to supervise, care and minimize any potential risks to your safety;
  • The defendant knowingly and intentionally breached their duty;
  • You were injured because the defendant breached their duty; and
  • You suffered from hardship as a result.

If you successfully prove these elements, you’ll likely receive a settlement for your injuries. Texas courts determine settlement amounts by determining your damages. Damages are simply the losses you suffered because you were injured. They can be tangible such as medical bills, or intangible such as loss of enjoyment for life.

Listed below are some common damages rewarded in a personal injury case.

  • Medical expenses;
  • Car repairs;
  • Lost earnings;
  • Reduced earning capacity;
  • Rehabilitation costs;
  • Therapy costs;
  • Loss of enjoyment for life;
  • Loss of consortium; and
  • Pain and suffering.

Additional Resources

Adult Protective Services – Visit the official website for the National Center on Elder Abuse to access a document explaining Adult Protective Services (APS). Find more information about APS, what they do to protect victims of elderly abuse and some answers to frequently asked questions.

Elder Abuse Statistics – Visit the official website for the National Council on Aging (NCOA) to find more information on senior citizen abuse. Access the site to learn about the different types of elderly abuse, elderly abuse statistics and how nursing home abuse has risen in the United States.

Lawyer for Nursing Home Negligence in Montgomery County, Texas

If you or someone you know has suffered from nursing home negligence, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney today. Th attorneys at Evans & Powell, PLLC have years of experience representing victims of nursing home neglect in the Montgomery County area.

Evans & Powell, PLLC believes no senior citizen should face abuse or neglect in a nursing home. Find a legal partner today by calling (713) 622 - 2000. Evans & Powell, PLLC accepts clients throughout the greater Conroe area including Panorama, Willis, Houston, and Cut and Shoot.

This article was last updated on February 13th, 2019

Evans & Powell, PLLC