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Midland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Midland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

When you transition your elderly loved one into a nursing home or extended care facility, you expect the staff to provide proper care. When the staff fails in their responsibility, the results can be devastating, not only to your loved one but also to you and your family.

Your loved one deserves a safe and caring environment where they can have a high quality of life, but when those in charge of their care fail in their duties, you have grounds to pursue legal action. If you believe your elderly loved one has suffered abuse or neglect under the care of others, reach out to a qualified Midland nursing home abuse lawyer at Barrera Law Group LLC.

We take every case seriously and will seek justice for you and your loved one.

Recognizing Nursing Home Abuse

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for assisted living facilities to experience elder neglect. Between understaffing, improper training, and insufficient supplies, residents often suffer needlessly.

Although sometimes abuse or neglect of nursing home residents can be hard to see, there are some signs that may signify a larger problem at hand. When you visit your loved one, look for the following:

  • New or unexplained wounds (cuts, bruises, burns, broken or fractured bones)
  • Poor hygiene
  • New infections
  • Bedsores
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Changes in mood or behavior (depression, anxiety, etc.)

Other things to pay attention to when visiting your loved one’s residence are:

  • Lack of friendly or attentive staff
  • Wandering or unattended residents
  • Poorly maintained rooms or hallways
  • Dirty buildings or bathrooms
  • Lack of supplies (restocking bathroom essentials)

One of these things on its own may not be indicative of ongoing abuse, but if you have any cause for concern for the safety of your loved one or friend in a nursing home or long-term care facility, don’t put it off, contact the proper authorities, or a lawyer right away.

Common Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes

Our elderly loved ones have the right to be safe and protected from abuse, no matter where they live.

The Office of the Attorney General and the State of Texas have passed laws making elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation illegal in the Lone Star State, but sadly, not everyone follows the letter of the law.

Here are some of the most common types of elder abuse our Midland office has seen:

  • Physical: Any type of physical harm caused to an elderly individual, including restraining, isolating, hitting, etc.
  • Sexual: Any nonconsensual physical contact in the form of a sexual activity, including sexual harassment, unwanted touching, fondling, or intercourse.
  • Psychological: Any emotional abuse, including gaslighting, harassment, verbal assaults, insults, threats, humiliation, etc.
  • Financial: Any illegal, unauthorized, or improper use of financial resources, including stealing an elderly person’s money or possessions or coercing an elderly person into signing any document.

Research indicates that one in ten older people in the United States experience some form of abuse, and these numbers increased during the pandemic. Elder abuse impacts not only the victims but their families, friends, and community as well.

Factors Associated with Elder Abuse

Abuse or neglect of the elderly can be to anyone by anyone and can occur within the community or in care facilities such as nursing homes. The following risk factors can expose older adults to a greater chance of abuse:

  • Social isolation
  • Lack of access to support and resources
  • Chronic medical or mental health conditions
  • Cognitive impairment
  • History of poor relationship between the older adult and their caregiver
  • Physical, emotional, and/or financial dependence

Elder abuse is most often caused by the ones the elderly individual trusts the most, even among nursing home or long-term care residents. Family members are the most likely to inflict abuse on their elderly relatives, but friends, caregivers, service providers, peers, etc., can also be the perpetrators of abuse.

How Elder Abuse Can Be Prevented

Educating elderly adults, caregivers, family members and the public about elder abuse in nursing homes and other facilities is critical to prevention. If you are an older adult or you are concerned about your elderly loved one, you can stay safe by doing as much of the following as possible:

  • Take care of your health
  • Plan for your future by creating a power of attorney or living will now to avoid problems later
  • Have access to your own personal phone
  • Use direct deposit for all checks, and never allow anyone else access to your bank accounts or credit cards
  • Never give out personal information over the phone
  • Seek independent advice from someone you trust before signing any documents
  • Stay active in your community and stay connected with friends and family
  • Collect and send your own mail
  • Know your rights and never be afraid to speak up about anything you feel may be a violation of those rights

Additionally, the Adult Protective Services branch of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has created the Elder Abuse Is Everyone’s Business campaign, among others, to raise awareness of elder abuse in Texas so that more people will recognize the signs of abuse or neglect and speak up for the elderly victims in our communities.

What You Can Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

In nursing home abuse or neglect cases, the elderly person suffering the abuse often isn’t even aware of it, or if they are, they may be too scared to speak up for themselves. If you believe your loved one is suffering abuse or neglect at the hands of nursing home staff, it’s important to act as soon as possible.

If you believe them to be in immediate danger, call the police, but if not, there are some options available to you.

While you may think that speaking with the nursing staff or management is the best thing to do, it may actually make your case more difficult. Often, those in management are fully aware of the abuse, and if they believe legal action will be brought against them, they may destroy any evidence, such as videos or patient records.

The first thing you should do is contact a lawyer from our team at Barrera Law Group LLC, and while we begin to work on your case, you can gather as much evidence as possible. Take pictures and videos and make a note of everyone you speak to at the facility, as well as anything that has changed about your loved one that is a concern, such as drastic behavior changes or new and unexplained injuries or illness.

You can also call the Texas Department of Health and Human Services hotline at 800-458-9858 to make a report of suspected elder abuse or neglect.

Barrera Law Group LLC – Protecting the Elderly in Midland

Nursing home abuse is not just wrong; it’s illegal, and your attorney will ensure that your case is taken seriously and that those inflicting the abuse are held responsible. Cases of elderly abuse are a growing problem and often are easy to hide.

Even the nicest facilities with the best reviews can end up causing harm to residents.

If you believe that your loved one has suffered or is currently suffering abuse or neglect in their nursing home or long-term care facility in Midland or anywhere in Texas, contact our office today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

At Barrera Law Group LLC, we believe it’s our duty to protect our most vulnerable populations. Reach out to us; we’re here to help.

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