When your loved ones age, you may realize that they need to be somewhere that will provide them with the medical care, social environment, and high quality of life they deserve. While moving your loved one to a nursing home can be difficult, you know that this will allow them to have attentive care and regular social interaction to maintain their well-being.
If you’ve noticed that this isn’t the case and your loved one’s care and overall health seems to be poor, then it may be because of an abusive or neglectful nursing home. You can turn to a San Antonio, TX nursing home abuse lawyer for help.
Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm can stand up for your loved one. Our lawyers are well-versed with federal and state laws and the rights that your loved one has as a nursing home resident. We’ll find out how their rights were violated, who was responsible for their harm, and seek full and fair compensation so your loved one can move forward.
The Difference Between Elder Abuse and Neglect
Both nursing home abuse and neglect are dangers to your loved one’s health and should never have happened, but there are some differences between them. In Texas, abuse is the willful infliction of injury or cruel punishment that result in physical or emotional harm. Unreasonable confinement or intimidation are also considered abuse.
Types of Abuse
Abuse can include hitting, slapping, and sexual assault. Other forms of abuse include refusing to let your loved one see others, making threats, or using tactics to humiliate your loved one. It’s also possible for staff to steal from your loved one, which is financial abuse.
All these forms of abuse can cause a lot of harm to your loved one, but they aren’t the only ways for a nursing home to be dangerous for your loved one’s health. Nursing home neglect can occur as well.
Types of Neglect
Neglect is the failure to provide the necessary goods or services to avoid physical or emotional harm or pain. When a nursing home is neglectful, they may have fatigued staff because there aren’t enough people working at the nursing home.
Sometimes, a home is understaffed to try and save money, but this means that the people who do work there may be pulling double shifts. A fatigued worker may make a mistake that harms your loved one.
Other dangers of understaffing can mean that your loved one doesn’t get the regular care and attention they deserve. While the staff is trying to get to each resident, your loved one could be alone for many hours of the day. They could miss times for medication or not get the assistance they need to use to restroom or get food or water.
When residents aren’t given the help they need, they may try to do it themselves. This could result in a fall, which can cause devastating injuries to a senior. If no one is around and the senior tries to do something on their own and they fall, it could take a long time before they get the help they need. These instances can be extremely concerning if the senior breaks their hip, as this injury can get infected and they’ll need to fight off that illness, too.
A San Antonio, TX nursing home abuse lawyer will find out what happened to your loved one. We’re familiar with the various ways that abuse and neglect can occur in nursing homes. We’ll investigate who your loved one saw on a regular basis, who was responsible for their health, and who failed to provide them with the care they needed.
How Can You Tell If Nursing Home Abuse Is Occurring?
You can spot some signs that indicate your loved one is living in an abusive or neglectful nursing home. Pay attention to these signs because your loved one may not tell you or isn’t able to tell you that they’re being abused or neglected. Fear of retaliation from the staff, health conditions that affect one’s ability to speak, and feeling embarrassment over what’s happening are all factors that could prevent your loved one from confiding in you. When you visit them, look for signs of abuse like:
- Physical Injuries. Broken bones, fractures, and bruises may indicate that your loved one’s safety is in danger. Other physical injuries like bed sores could indicate neglect—these injuries appear when your loved one is laying down or in a seated position for too long. If they aren’t treated, bed sores can require surgery.
- Poor Hygiene (personal and environmental). If your loved one is in soiled or old clothes, haven’t bathed, or their bedsheets are soiled, then they could be in a neglectful situation.
- Unexpected Weight Loss. A drop in weight could mean that your loved one isn’t getting regular nutritious meals.
- Dehydration. Lack of attentive staff can also result in dehydration.
- Hovering Staff. If you notice that staff don’t let you visit your loved one with privacy, they could be attempting to prevent your loved one from telling you something.
- Noticeable Attitude Change. Does your loved one seem more fearful, agitated, or isn’t acting like their normal selves? This change in demeanor could be a result of abuse.
- Rapid Decline in Mobility. If your loved one used to be mobile and you find that they’re now bed-ridden, this may be from lack of care.
When you notice these signs, it’s important to know what to do next. If you’ve raised concerns with the nursing home before and your loved one’s health doesn’t seem to be improving, then you may need to get them to a safe environment and start looking at your legal options.
Filing a claim may seem like the last responsibility you want to deal with when you’re protecting your loved one. That’s where a San Antonio, TX nursing home abuse lawyer can help you.
What Can You Do If Your Loved One Is Harmed in a Nursing Home?
Learning that your loved one was abused or neglected in their nursing home can be devastating, but you can seek justice for them. You’ll want a nursing home abuse lawyer to protect their rights and help them get full and fair compensation for what they’ve been through.
The lawyers at Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm will review your loved one’s case and assess the damages of their injuries. We’ll seek compensation for the following:
- Medical Bills from Injuries and Illnesses
- Stolen Money
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Punitive Damages (in cases of gross negligence)
Your loved one deserves to have the compensation they need so they can recover from their mistreatment and live in a safe environment. We’ll fight to secure their financial future so they’re able to enjoy their life and get the care they need.
While we’re seeking justice for your loved one in Texas, the nursing home may get representation of their own. If they offer your loved one a settlement, it may be less than they deserve. Our lawyers will make sure that your loved one doesn’t accept an unfavorable settlement. If their case needs to go to court, our trial lawyers are ready to represent your loved one.
Before your loved one enters a nursing home, they may have needed to sign an arbitration agreement, meaning that they agreed to settle legal matters out of court. If this is the case, don’t worry. Our lawyers will review the agreement to see if it’s binding. Your loved one may still be able to seek justice through litigation.
Get Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm on Your Side Today
When you’re seeking justice for a loved one who has been abused or neglected, it’s important to reach out for help as soon as possible. You can get in touch with our law firm with a phone call or fill out an evaluation form online. We can discuss your legal options and how you can protect your loved one’s rights in a free case evaluation.
A San Antonio, TX nursing home abuse lawyer will start investigating what happened to your loved one and gathering the evidence necessary to get them the compensation you deserve. We’ll be at your side during this process to make sure everything is filed properly and to represent your loved one’s best interests. When your loved one has the financial security they need, you can get the peace of mind that you deserve.