Nursing Home Negligence vs. Abuse
Nursing home neglect means not providing reasonable care to residents and meeting their basic needs regarding water, food, medicine, and hygiene.
Abuse requires intent, but negligence does not. Neglect can come from carelessness, inadequate training, and staff shortages. Your family doesn’t have to prove someone intentionally harmed your relative—only that the nursing home harmed them by not providing adequate care.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
- Inattentive staff members
- Dirty rooms and common areas
- Dirty sheets and clothing
- Poor hygiene, bad breath, and body odor
- Multiple falls
- Dehydration (chapped lips, minimal, or dark urine)
Bedsores In Nursing Homes
Many people believe that bedsores are a normal risk of growing old and living in a nursing home. But, this is not true.
Bedsores occur when someone isn’t mobile, and the pressure between the body and a surface, like a bed or a wheelchair, causes the blood to pool in a small area. They shouldn’t if the staff take proper care of residents. Staff members should regularly move residents and keep their bodies clean and dry.
Bedsores are strong evidence of nursing home negligence. If you notice them on your loved one’s body, call a Texas nursing home lawyer.
Nursing Home Regulations
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services regulates nursing homes and long-term care providers in the state. HHS inspects and licenses these facilities and investigates allegations of abuse or neglect. It also can send matters to the Attorney General if a facility doesn’t correct serious problems.
Texas laws set out:
- Nursing home residents’ rights
- Standards for quality of care
- Standards for the residents’ quality of life
If you believe your loved one’s rights have been violated, whether by neglect or abuse, you can contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman and a nursing home neglect attorney.
Causes of Nursing Home Neglect, Abuse, and Malpractice
Many situations can lead to abuse and neglect in nursing homes and other care facilities. We often find these issues are rooted in poor work culture. The facility’s administrators often don’t hire enough staff or hire inadequately trained or unqualified staff. Many times, staff members aren’t adequately supervised, either.
Other issues include:
- Administrators keep staff with a history of neglect or abuse (called negligent hiring and retention)
- A lack of supplies and resources, such as personal protective equipment
- Personal issues for staff members, such as stress, depression, anxiety, and burnout
Nursing Home Abuse Compensation
If the nursing home’s actions caused your loved one’s death, then your family may be entitled to compensation for the harm done.
Personal injury compensation may include:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Damage to personal property
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Physical limitations
- Lower quality of life
What if the Nursing Home Neglect Was Fatal?
If you feel your senior relative’s passing was unexpected or accelerated, and there are signs of wrongdoing, contact Kemmy Law Firm immediately. Our nursing home attorneys are ready to look into the matter. If we uncover evidence of negligence or abuse in connection with their death, we’ll discuss your options.
Filing a Nursing Home Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit in Texas will depend on the circumstances involved. If you’re suing the facility for malpractice, you must provide it with written notice of your claim before you file a lawsuit. The law also requires you to obtain a medical expert to review the facts and file a report within 120 days of filing a lawsuit.
If you file based on ordinary negligence and not medical malpractice, you don’t have to meet these requirements. The process also is different if your loved one passed away. Only a surviving spouse, child, or estate executor may file a wrongful death claim.
Proving Nursing Home Negligence
To ultimately establish that negligence occurred and your loved one deserves compensation, you need to show the facility:
- Owed your loved one a duty of care
- Breached that duty
- Caused your loved one harm
This takes evidence, and while most lawsuits settle instead of going to trial, at Kemmy Law Firm, we aren’t afraid to take nursing homes and medical providers to court. We do everything possible to secure a fair settlement, but we’ll also prepare every case as it may go to trial, so we’re ready if an offer falls through.
Nursing Home Resources for Texans
Texas and the federal government have resources to help families with senior members:
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Texas Health and Human Services
Long-Term Care Ombudsman