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Dallas Nursing Home/Elder Abuse Attorney

The Dallas nursing home/elder abuse attorneys at McGilberry & Shirer have over 60 years of combined experience and have fought for clients in all areas of personal injury law, including elder abuse. If your loved one has experienced nursing home abuse, you may be able to receive compensation for the damages by contacting an injury attorney in Dallas.

The choice to put the care a loved one in the hands of a nursing home is a difficult decision for everyone involved. This being established, it can be disheartening to hear about the rate of abuse taking place in elderly facilities. The fact remains that research from Adult Protective Services (APS) agencies displays an increase in the reports of elder abuse. In addition, studies have shown elders who experience any abuse, even moderate forms, had a 300% higher risk of death compared to elders who had not experienced any abuse.

Contents

Types of Abuse and Misconduct:

  • Emotional abuse. Forms of emotional abuse occur when a caretaker makes threats toward, insults, intimidates, intentionally scares, ignores, humiliates, or swears at a senior.
  • Physical abuse. A caretaker may be guilty of physical abuse if they cause physical harm to a senior, which involves instances such as battery, assault, force-feeding, over-medication, or constant use of physical constraints.
  • Sexual abuse. Sexual abuse can occur when an elder is coerced or tricked into engaging in a sexual act when they are too weak or ill to give proper consent. Possible sources of sexual abuse include staff, visitors, strangers, and other residents.
  • Negligence. A caretaker is negligent when they fail to supply basic care or support a senior’s fundamental needs. This includes the failure to address or provide assistance with matters of adequate nutrition, personal hygiene, medical treatment, safety dangers, and unsanitary conditions.
  • Financial abuse. Instances of financial abuse occur when the person in charge of managing a senior’s money and/or estate use this role to steal funds from the elder. This includes using funds, property, or other possessions for personal gain without the elder’s knowledge, and forcing or coercing signatures made on wills, contracts, or other legal documents.

Facts About Nursing Home/Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a widely underreported crime due to the vulnerability and incapacity of many victims. Nursing home mistreatment is present in hundreds of facilities around the world – yet many families have no idea of the harm their loved ones are in as we speak. According to the best estimates, up to 1.2 million senior citizens in the U.S. suffer some form of mistreatment each year. Despite the lack of awareness surrounding this issue, the government has passed several laws in an effort to protect the country’s vulnerable elderly population.

One such law is the Elder Justice Act of 2009. This act addresses elder abuse as part of the larger Affordable Care Act. This act created a Coordinating Council and Advisory Board in charge of reducing elder abuse. It also generated monetary incentives and grants to improve the quality of care at nursing home facilities. Finally, it enacted a requirement that any facility receiving federal funding must follow strict requirements for how they care for their residents. This historic policy was a great step toward putting an end to nursing home abuse for good.

Under the Elder Justice Act and other federal and state laws, those who abuse or mistreat elders could face jail time and significant fines. The facilities could also face penalties, and potentially even have to close their doors. It’s important to report elder abuse not just for your loved one, but to prevent other seniors from experiencing the same mistreatment at a local Dallas nursing home. With thousands of cases going unreported each year, make an effort to detect abuse and fight for justice for your family member. Our attorneys can help.

How to Spot Nursing Home or Elder Abuse

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to elder abuse. Carefully vet the nursing home you’re interested in before selecting it as your elderly loved one’s new home. Look for signs of poor resident care, such as a dirty facility, unhappy or sickly-looking residents, dingy rooms, poor lighting, unhealthy food, or angry staff members. If you cannot prevent nursing home abuse, the next best thing is to detect that it’s happening as quickly as possible. These three tips can help:

  1. Visit your elderly loved one often. The more you visit your loved one, the easier it will be to tell if his or her physical appearance, moods, or behaviors have changed. Changes such as sudden withdrawal from social activities could point to nursing home abuse. Visit as often as you can to check in on how your loved one is doing with the caretakers.
  2. Ask your loved one how he or she is doing. Engage your family member in conversation when you visit, truly listening to his or her answers. Ask how the nursing home is, how the staff members treat residents, and what the food is like. Express your belief in what your loved one says and encourage him or her to be truthful with you.
  3. Learn how to detect red flags. Signs of potential nursing home abuse include unexplained physical injuries, strange bruising, malnutrition, frequent visits to the hospital, infections, bedsores, decreases in health, depression, and anxiety. As soon as you notice anything amiss, notify the nursing home and get to the bottom of what’s going on.

The elderly are vulnerable and often unable to defend themselves. Many are too afraid to come forward when they become victims of neglect, abuse or mistreatment. It is generally up to family members to stay in contact with residents of nursing homes and long-term living facilities and to notice when something is amiss. Call the authorities the moment you suspect abuse or neglect. Then, contact McGilberry & Shirer LLP for a free legal consultation in Dallas.

Effects of Elder Abuse

The trauma resulting from abuse can have many negative effects on a senior, including:

  • Physical injury, infection or illness. Common effects of physical abuse on elders include wounds, bed sores, nutrition and hydration issues, lacerations, constant pain and/or soreness, and an increased vulnerability to contracting new illnesses which can possibly lead to death. If you want to seek damages against a party for causing an unintended death, consult with a Dallas wrongful death attorney to see your options.
  • Emotional Disorders. The rate of depression is found to be higher among seniors who are victims of abuse compared to elders who have not experienced abuse. Abuse typically causes levels of distress to increase substantially.
  • Financial problems. Financial abuse can lead to significant monetary damages and may cause elders to depend on the assistance of government-funded programs to meet their health care needs.

Talk To a Dallas Nursing Home/Elder Abuse Attorney for Compensation

If your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you may be able to receive a settlement for the following expenses and damages:

  • Future and past medical bills, including mental health and rehabilitation costs
  • Stolen funds and property
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Legal fees

Your loved ones deserve to feel safe and secure at all times. If one of your family members has been mistreated while in a nursing home, contact us or call (972) 392-1225 to schedule a no-commitment consultation today.