Many people ask the question “What exactly constitutes as abuse by caregivers”. It’s an interesting question as elderly residents in a nursing home are under daily medical supervision for a reason. Sometimes abuse in these facilities can be difficult to confirm. Studies show that assisted living facilities with high rates of staff turnover can often mean insufficient training and an inadequate understanding of a resident’s ongoing mental and physical health problems. Studies have also shown that residents that have been diagnosed with dementia are more likely to be abused and or neglected.
The Difference Between Abuse and Neglect
There have been many cases of neglect where the patient is unable to move or speak and the medical staff ignores the resident for long periods of time. The most common injury with these types of cases is bedsores. Neglect can also mean missing scheduled medications, which can prolong illness or even worsen a diagnosed condition that could lead to a premature death. These are examples of neglect and there are many more situations in which a resident can be harmed. Once a loved one shows signs of neglect, you should call the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services at 1-800-458-9858.
Abuse may seem similar to neglect and in a way it is, however nursing home abuse means much more than someone not doing his or her job. Abuse implies that either one or more staff members are deliberately causing harm to residents of the facility. Data from state Adult Protective Services (APS) show an increasing trend in the reporting of elder abuse which can mean either elder abuse is on the rise or reporting abuse is becoming more common.
The Most Common Sign of Neglect
As previously mentioned, bedsores are the most common sign of neglect as bedsores are preventable. While the word bedsore is a “layman’s” term, the medical community refers to them as decubitus ulcers and they occur when pressure is applied to one area for a long period of time. For example, when a patient is lying in bed and is unable to move on their own, the staff should reposition or turn the patient on a schedule in order to prevent a bedsore. These types of injuries are preventable and are not exclusive to a patient lying down in a bed. Sitting in a wheelchair for long periods of time with being adjusted can also cause bedsores. Should you speak to staff about preventing bedsores ask how often they turn or adjust patients. The correct answer should be every few hours or less.
Speaking With a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
You may be wondering as to how an attorney can help and how much does it cost. These are very common questions and we understand your concerns. First and foremost, you will receive a free initial consultation. This mean it costs you nothing to find out if you have a case or not. Keep in mind that you may not get the answer right away. Sometimes we will send an investigator to a nursing home facility to acquire additional information we may need to determine if you have a case or not. So now let’s say we have decided that your loved one’s rights have been violated and action needs to be taken immediately. Once you sign up with us, you owe us nothing up front. In fact, if we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us a dime. We only get paid if we win your case. We know you’re going through a lot and you need to focus on your loved one – you may even need to move them to a different facility. Rest assured that we will be doing all the work so you can focus on what is most important. If you suspect that your loved one is either being neglected, abused or both, call us right now. We are ready to take your call 24/7. We’re ready to help.