Tuesday, January 31, 2023

How To Report Nursing Home Neglect In Texas

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Where To Report Elder Neglect And Abuse In Texas Helplines Hotlines And Referral Sources

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse | Texas Injury Attorney Describes Symptoms

To report suspected elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation in Texas:

  • 1-800-252-5400

To report non emergency situations that do not require an immediate response, you may report online by visiting

To reach regional Long Term Care Ombudsman offices, consult the Area Agencies on Aging Directory

For Texas Department of Family and Protective Services statistics and/or other publications, Visit Here. Adult Protective Services publicationsare also available online.

Reporting Elder Abuse Or Neglect

If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of elder abuse, you have an obligation to report any suspicious or unsafe activity. By reporting the abuse or neglect, you are not only helping your loved one but also helping to protect others. Depending on where the abuse occurs, there are different agencies in charge of the investigation.

Who Must Report Nursing Home Abuse In Texas

The duty to report suspected abuse or neglect is very broad in Texas, but it does not just apply to employees of nursing homes. Rather, anyone with reason to believe that an elderly person, a person with a disability, or a person receiving care from a licensed long-term care facility is being abused or neglected is required to report it.

A report is required even if the knowledge of possible abuse was gained during the scope of generally privileged or confidential discussions. This means a therapist, lawyer, social worker, clergy member, or another professional whose relationship would otherwise require confidentiality are required to make a report.

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Elder Abuse Is A Crime

Individuals who reside in long-term care facilities have a legal right to be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Texas considers elder abuse a felony. Elderly residents in nursing homes are considered victims of abuse if they suffer any form of:

  • Physical abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial exploitation

Many cases of nursing home negligence and abuse go unreported, whether because the abused seniors dont understand the care to which they are entitled, or because they are physically unable to report the abuse.

If you suspect elder abuse in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, dont remain silent. In fact, its considered a crime in Texas to fail to report such abuse. According to Texas law, anyone who suspects that a child, an elderly individual who is 65 or older, or an adult with disabilities is suffering from abuse, neglect, or exploitation must report that suspicion to the Department of Family Protective Services.

Those suspected of elder abuse may face second or third-degree felony charges, a $10,000 fine, and a prison sentence, depending on the circumstances of the abuse.

Working With The Underwood Law Office On Your Nursing Home Abuse Case

Are Texas Nursing Homes Required to Report Neglect and ...

When you work with a McKinney, Texas nursing home abuse lawyer from Underwood Law Office on your case, we can provide you with a wide range of legal services. These may include:

  • Investigating your case, collecting evidence of abuse, and identifying the liable party
  • Collect evidence from the nursing home, witness statements, medical records, and more
  • Handling all communications on your behalf
  • Negotiating with the responsible partys insurance company for a settlement
  • Taking your case to trial, if necessary

Note that your time to take legal action may be limited. Per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003, there is a general two-year statute of limitations on personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in Texas.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now

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Civil Injury Claims For Abuse In A Texas Nursing Home Or Care Facility

In addition to the possibility of financial redress, the civil system may offer the nursing home resident a wider basis for legal action than the criminal justice system provides to the state. For instance, while emotional abuse cannot form the basis of a criminal charge, it may be a legitimate basis for seeking civil injury damages.

What all does elder abuse involve from a civil personal injury perspective? According to the National Council on Aging , elder abuse can include many different things, such as:

  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • emotional abuse

The Office of the Attorney General for the State of Texas defines elder abuse as follows:

Abuse includes involuntary seclusion, intimidation, humiliation, harassment, threats of punishment, deprivation, hitting, slapping, pinching, kicking, any type of corporal punishment, sexual assault, sexual coercion, sexual harassment, verbal abuse, or any oral, written, or gestured language that includes disparaging or derogatory terms, regardless of the persons ability to hear or comprehend.

Neglect means the failure of a caretaker to provide the goods or services, including medical services, which are necessary to avoid physical or emotional harm or pain.

Why Is Nursing Home Care So Bad

One of the main causes of the poor quality of care given to the elderly is the shortage of nurses in many nursing homes. The field of Geriatrics has one of the largest patient bases, however it has the fewest amount of caregivers. Also, many nursing homes do not want to pay and insure additional employees.

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How Can I Report Abuse Neglect Or Exploitation

Call 800-458-9858 to report suspected abuse or neglect of people who are older or who have disabilities.

You can call this number to report abuse that occurs in:

  • Nursing homes
  • Assisted living centers
  • Day activity and health services

You can also report care concerns about home health and hospice agencies and intermediate care facilities.

Agents answer calls Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. If you call outside those hours, leave a message an employee will call you back by the next workday.

San Antonio Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

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The state of Texas recognizes three distinct types of elder abuse that have occurred in and around the San Antonio area: domestic elder abuse, which is abuse that takes place in the home. The abuser is usually a family member or close friend, but it could also be a private caregiver. The second type is institutional abuse, in which an elderly person is abused or neglected while in any medical facility such as a nursing home, assisted living facility, or hospital. The third type is self-neglect, wherein a senior citizen neglects or abuses themselves by not taking care of basic hygiene, medication control, or other safety precautions.

All of these types of abuse can come in the forms of physical, psychological, or financial abuse or neglect. In San Antonio, one of the most severe cases of abuse in recent years was brought to light in 2014.

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If The Victim Is Not In A Nursing Home Or Health Care Facility

you should contact Adult Protective Services. They will further investigate claims of any adults that have a disability or are over the age of 65 and are in a state of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. You can contact them at 1-800-252-5400.

If you or a loved one is being abused, take action today. Contact one of the agencies responsible for investigating elder abuse. If the victim is in immediate danger, call 911 and remove them from the situation. The most important thing to keep in mind is the safety and well-being of the elder.

For more information on how to help prevent elder abuse, read our article, 5 Simple Ways to Prevent Elder Abuse. Our attorneys have experience with all types of elder abuse and neglect cases. Contact Powers Taylor today for a free consultation.

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Civil Nursing Home Injuries After Criminal Act

When a nursing home resident has been the victim of a criminal act, then the State of Texas may provide a corresponding avenue for justice for harms that are the result of wrongs committed by the nursing home or care facility. These cases may involve a number of defendants, including not only the perpetrator of the criminal act as charged by the prosecutor, but the owner and operator of the facility itself as well as other involved in the circumstances.

For more discussion on instances where the criminal system intersects with civil injury claims, see:

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What Compensation Is Available For Elder Abuse Victims And Their Families

In many cases of nursing home abuse, the elderly patient requires long-term medical care and treatment to recover from injury and/or illness. If negligence or abuse occurs while in the care of a nursing home or senior care provider and results in hospitalization, medication, surgery, physical therapy, psychotherapy or other medical expenses, then the negligent individual and/or facility may be liable for paying these associated medical costs through a claim or lawsuit.

Financial compensation can help relieve families of stress regarding how they will pay for the treatment their loved one needs in the short or long term due to nursing home abuse or negligence.

Damages may also be obtained for various forms of emotional distress for the elderly individual as well as family members. These are frequently the most challenging consequences of elder abuse and neglect to overcome and include pain and suffering.

For families whose loved one suffered wrongful death at a nursing home, facility, or hospital, they may receive compensation for the pain and suffering their loved one endured in addition to what they have and may continue to go through emotionally.

Lastly, financial compensation is a way for individuals and families to seek justice for the harm theyve suffered.

How Can I Report Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing Home Neglect â Justice Must Be Served

Home » Frequently Asked Questions » Nursing Home Abuse » How Can I Report Nursing Home Abuse?

If you have witnessed nursing home abuse, you have an obligation to report the abuse to the authorities. Each state has its own department that oversees the nursing home industry. Complaints regarding a specific case of abuse in a nursing home should be made either via telephone, a letter, or a web form to this department.

When you are researching how to report nursing home abuse, it is important that you follow the correct procedure in your state. Some states require you to file all complaints in writing, along with your name. Others allow people to file complaints against nursing homes anonymously or by phone.

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What Is Nursing Home Neglect

In a nursing-home setting, neglect can come in many forms. For example, caregivers may fail to provide necessary medical services to prevent emotional and/or physical pain or harm. Additionally, caregivers and staff may fail to implement safeguards to prevent falls, fail to monitor lab results, fail to provide CPR, or fail to report patients condition changes to their doctors.

Neglect can also include caregivers intentional actions, such as not properly sanitizing residents rooms and clothing, ignoring patients signals for assistance, or withholding food. Unfortunately, these practices are not uncommon among nursing homes that are insufficiently staffed, especially those with inadequately trained employees.

Allowing visitation from family members who may have been exposed to COVID-19, the flu, or other contagious infections may also constitute negligence. Failure to prevent the spread of a virus when residents and staff are aware of a global pandemic is even more egregious. Nursing home staff have a duty to take preventative measures to ensure the health and safety of the residents. Allowing visitation from outsiders who are not known to be infected may not be negligence.

What Does An Ombudsman Do In A Nursing Home

Long-term care Ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes and assisted living facilities. Ombudsmen provide information about how to find a facility and what to do to get quality care. They are trained to resolve problems. If you want, the Ombudsman can assist you with complaints.

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Who Can Report Abuse

Anyone who witnesses abuse or neglect at a nursing home may report it to the proper authorities. These people include:

  • Family of residents
  • Visitors to the nursing home
  • Residents
  • Employees of the nursing home

It is helpful when reporting an abusive situation to take note of the time and date of the abuse, as well as the location in the building where it occurred. Photograph any injuries. It is important to give as much detail as possible to the authorities.

For a free legal consultation, call

Contact Dallasnursing Home Abuse Lawyers For A Free Consultation

Steps to Take If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

If your loved one has been abused orneglected at a nursing home, you need the services of an experienced Dallas personalinjury lawyer at Crowe Arnold& Majors, LLP. Arrange a free consultation by calling or texting us 24/7 orcompleting our online form.

Because we work on a contingencybasis, there are no legal fees charged unless you receive compensation. Ourdedicated attorneys have recovered more than $100 million in settlements andverdicts for clients.

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Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect

Other National Injury Claims Litigation

There are many types of nursing home abuse and neglect including physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse. The vulnerability of older adults makes them an easy target for predators and those seeking to exploit them.

Unfortunately, elderly persons do not always have the ability to speak out about their mistreatment. In some cases, they may fear the consequences of reporting their abuser. In others, they may be ashamed of their situation.

If you have an elderly family member who lives in a nursing home or requires the assistance of a caregiver, learning to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect can help you protect them. Below, we discuss some of the most common types of abuse and neglect that occurs in nursing homes.

Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse

When you go to visit your elderly loved one, you need to ensure you are watching for signs of abuse. They may not be able to communicate the abuse to you or are affraid. While it can be very hard to see the signs of abuse, some of the things you can watch for include:

  • Presence of Bedsores
  • Lack of Hygiene
  • Unexplained Infections or Diseases

If a loved one sees these signs of abuse, it is important to report the problem as soon as possible.

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Care For The Residents

Texas Administrative Code states that residents of elder care facilities receive quality care. The law states that the residents should receive all needed services needed to maintain the highest possible mental, physical, and psychosocial wellbeing. All patients will have a comprehensive care plan when they go into one of these homes. The care plan needs to cover all aspects of life for the patient including personal items, medical supplies, OTC drugs, social services, and room and board.

Common Warning Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse

How to report abuse and neglect

Not all incidents of nursing home abuse or neglect are obvious. In fact, many elders suffer from abuse and neglect but never tell anyone about it. A lack of mental faculties may cause them to forget to report the abuse or fail to recognize it as abuse. Or an elder may be intimidated by their abuser and think it is too dangerous to speak up.

Identifying the warning signs of nursing home abuse and neglect is often a responsibility that falls upon the elders family members and friends. Whenever you communicate with or visit an elderly loved one in a nursing home, you should always pay attention for signs of abuse.

Four of the most common signs of nursing home abuse or neglect are:

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Working With State Agencies

Medicare regulations require that the nursing home posts the names and contact information for any state agencies that will help with the complaint process in cases of abuse. Although these agencies vary by state, some of the most common options include:

  • A state ombudsman program
  • A Medicaid fraud control unit
  • A senior protection and advocacy department
  • A state licensure office

Your state may have additional options for reporting abuse in a nursing home setting.

What Is Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can include many forms such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect. Below are some of the most common types of elder abuse or neglect:

  • Physical or sexual abuse: any act of physical force used against an elder resulting in bodily harm or pain
  • Emotional or psychological abuse: the intentional infliction of anguish, distress, or pain through verbal or nonverbal acts
  • Neglect: A caregiver refusing or failing to fulfill an obligation to provide care and necessary services to an elderly person
  • Self-neglect:An elder endangering his or her own health or safety by refusing to provide essential supplies or care
  • Abandonment:The desertion of an elderly person by an individual responsible for their care
  • Financial or material exploitation: Illegal or improper use of an elderly persons finances, property, or assets

Abuse or neglect of an elder is devastating. Often times, the perpetrators are those that we trust with the caring for our loved ones such as a nursing home employee, a home health caregiver, or a family member. It is important to be aware and recognize the signs of abuse. For more information about the various types of elder abuse, read our article on the most common forms of elder abuse.

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I Reported A San Antonio Nursing Home And Government Officials Fined The Nursing Home But The Negligent Behavior Continues What Do I Do

Oftentimes, after reporting one or more incidents of neglect, you may receive a report that states the nursing home was fined or otherwise sanctioned. However, you may notice that the nursing home continues to negligently provide care to your loved one. In this case, contact our nursing home attorneys as soon as possible to ensure the health and safety of the facilitys residents.

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