What Should I Do If I Suspect Nursing Home Abuse Is Occurring In Texas
The unfortunate reality is that abuse is common in many Texas nursing homes. Because of their vulnerability, residents are particularly susceptible to being mistreated. In many cases, they lack the capacity to alert anyone about being hurtphysically, psychologically, or financially. Because of this, family members must remain vigilant.
If you suspect elder abuse, take immediate action. You can protect their legal rights by considering a civil lawsuit against the abuser and the facility that allowed it to happen. A personal injury attorney can assist you with each of the following steps you must take to ensure their safety.
Texas Law: Abuse Neglect And Exploitation Reporting
Texas law requires that Superior HealthPlan report any allegation or suspicion of Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation to the appropriate entity. Failure to report, or false reporting, is a state violation that can lead to a criminal offense. This law is applicable to Superior HealthPlan providers who serve Medicaid , CHIP, STAR+PLUS Medicare-Medicaid Plan , Allwell from Superior HealthPlan and Ambetter from Superior HealthPlan members.
In addition to state-required reporting, providers delivering Long-Term Services and Supports to members enrolled in STAR, STAR Kids, STAR+PLUS, STAR Health and MMP must provide Superior with a copy of ANE report findings within one business day of receipt of the findings from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services .
In order to avoid any liabilities, providers should be aware of what types of offenses to report and where to report them. Please reference the information below for the types of abuse that should be reported if noticed among our members:
What to Report: An allegation, suspicion or witnessed event of ANE.
Reporting Requirements: Providers should report any types of ANE to Texas Health and Human Services at 1-800-458-9858, if the victim is an adult or child who resides in or receives services from:
Providers should report any type of ANE to the DFPS at 1-800-252-5400, within one business day, if the victim is one of the following:
After Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
Once nursing home abuse has been reported, stay diligent. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care notes that there are several steps to ensure a nursing home patients safety after reporting abuse.
The National Consumer Voice recommends:
- Getting the elder proper care and support so they can recover
- Following up with those investigating the abuse
- Asking for copies of the investigations findings
You may also want to take further action to ensure the safety of your loved one. For example, you may decide to move them out of the nursing home where they were abused to improve their quality of life.
You can also contact a who can tell you about your legal options. These attorneys can help you pursue financial compensation from perpetrators through the civil justice system.
Depending on investigation and/or court findings, an abusive nursing home staff member may be prevented from or working or volunteering at other nursing homes. They may also face financial fines or prison time.
Need assistance with what to do next? Contact us today by calling .
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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
- 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.
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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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Is The Review And Settlement Process Confidential
Nursing home review, investigation, and settlement processes can remain confidential in cases where legal action may produce repercussions for your loved one. Call us to see what we can do to protect you and your loved one. Attorney/client privilege protects the confidentiality of our conversations.
If you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the Law Offices of George Salinas for a free consultation today.
What Is Required In A Report Of Suspected Elder Abuse
A report of suspected abuse of an elderly person or a person with a disability may be made orally or in writing, but it must include:
- The name, age, and address of the suspected victim
- The name and address of whoever is responsible for caring for the suspected victim
- The suspected victims condition and nature
- How the reporter has knowledge or suspicion of abuse or neglect
- Any other relevant information
Both the Investigations and Protective Services for Elderly and Disabled Persons Act and the Adult Protective Services Act require workers in nursing homes to file reports when they witness or reasonably suspect abuse or neglect. If you have reason to believe that an employee of a long-term care facility failed to report the abuse of your loved one, a Dallas elder abuse lawyer can determine what your legal recourse may be.
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Nursing Home Abuse In Texas
First and foremost, Texas has an official website where you can report nursing home abuse. They also have a phone line that can be reached at 800-458-9858. This applies to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and health service providers for seniors.
We can, and will, go through the factors that give rise to nursing home abuse but were going to prioritize the information that will be most valuable to someone that suspects nursing home abuse.
Can You File A Nursing Home Lawsuit
If you suspect your loved one has been a victim of long-term care abuse and neglect, do not hesitate to call us. A facility staff members conduct may be a crime, yet you do not have to rely on the criminal justice system. You and your loved one may have the right to pursue compensation through a nursing home lawsuit.
Depending on the situation, your loved one may be able to file a personal injury or malpractice lawsuit against the facility and particular individuals involved in the abuse or neglect. This can be a difficult process, and we recommend you work with an experienced nursing home negligence attorney. One of our lawyers will conduct an in-depth investigation into what happened to your relative. We will gather and analyze a great deal of evidence, including facility records, photos and videos, and witness statements. We will also hire medical and elder care experts to prove your loved ones injuries and the facilitys failure to provide adequate care.
We will also work closely with you and your loved one to determine an appropriate value for their claim. We will seek a settlement that compensates your loved one for their:
- Medical expenses
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Texas Nursing Home Abuse Or Neglect: Criminal Acts With Civil Claims For Damages
Posted on byMichael Lowe.
Nursing homes and care facilities here in Texas are sadly one of the most predominant examples of the overlap between criminal justice prosecutions at both the state and federal levels with corresponding injury claims filed in civil proceedings. All sorts of criminal acts occur at nursing homes: from theft of property to physical assaults or sexual assaults on the elderly to the wrongful death of residents due to abuse or neglect, arrests are made throughout Texas by both state and federal authorities.
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Contact Dallasnursing Home Abuse Lawyers For A Free Consultation
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.
I Reported A San Antonio Nursing Home For Negligence And Now The Home Is Neglecting My Loved One What Do I Do
If you havent reported the suspected neglect to the Department of Aging and Disabilities, you should take photos, if possible, to document signs of neglect before contacting them. Then, file a report with the Department of Aging and Disabilities and contact a San Antonio nursing home neglect attorney. If you are uncomfortable making a report of neglect, contact our firm, and should you decide to retain our representation, we can file the report on your behalf.
Try to get as many photos or videos depicting negligent acts or signs of neglect as possible. However, its important to always avoid displaying other residents in any picture or video evidence you collect. If avoiding documenting other residents isnt possible, either obtain the residents permission to record them, or edit the footage to conceal their identities.
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Insurance And Nursing Homes
Nursing home costs can vary depending on the nursing home and the type of care. In general, the cost for a full year in a nursing home is as high as $50,000. In certain cases Medicare, Medicaid, and other government resources can help pay a portion of the bill. It is also a good idea to have high quality long term health insurance. Depending on your plan, some of the costs may be covered by the insurance.
S For Investigating Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is a serious accusation with potentially devastating results for the victim. An individual should begin investigating nursing home abuse as soon as suspicion arises. If a victim states that an incident has taken place, investigating nursing home abuse should start with verifying the victims story. If possible, the investigating individual should attempt to check with other residents who seem coherent. Medical records, photos, recent prescriptions, and recent injury reports should be collected immediately.
If the investigating individual feels that the victim is in danger, the victim should be removed from the facility as soon as possible. After the victim is safely out of the facility, the investigating individual should contact appropriate state agencies and authorities to report the incident and file a claim. In certain states, such as California, elder abuse must be reported as soon as it is discovered. The district attorney may then file charges against the facility if the individuals evidence is sufficient.
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Common Warning Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
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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What Is Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse in any form is never acceptable. Elderly abuse is the abuse towards an elderly person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust. Approximately 1 in every 10 elderly Americans experiences some form of elderly abuse. There are about 1.6 million Americans who reside in nursing homes with an average life expectancy of 6 months upon arrival. It is expected that the individual will be taken care of, but sadly enough, thats not always the case. The patients of these facilities are often physically and emotionally abused. They are left in soiled diapers and sheets and not bathed for days at a time. They are subjected to physical abuse that can fracture or break bones and, in some cases, even death.
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Warning Signs Of Nursing Home Neglect/abuse
One thing that makes detecting nursing home negligence or abuse complicated is that abuse can come in many forms. In some cases, a nursing home resident may trip and fall because of staff inattentiveness, resulting in a bruise or another physical injury. In other cases, abuse can be emotional or psychological, such as when nursing home staff threatens or otherwise purposefully frightens nursing home residents. In this case, the abuse may be a bit more challenging to detect. That said, there are several potential warning signs of abuse that you should look out for. They are as follows:
- Bruises, broken bones, or other injuries
- Developing bedsores
- Being fearful of certain nursing home staff members
- Possessions going missing
Signs And Symptoms Of Elder Abuse
To keep your loved one safe, it is important to know the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect:
- Unexplained bruises, scars, and welts
- Drug overdose or failure to take prescribed medication regularly
- Regressive or self-soothing behavior by the senior, including rocking, sucking, or mumbling
- Torn, stained, or bloody underwear
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- Unexplained weight loss
- Inappropriate clothing for the weather or temperature
- Bed Sores
It is important to listen to what your elderly loved one says about the facility and staff. It is even more important to visit regularly and observe your loved ones surroundings and interactions with staff members. Your relative may be ashamed to confess what is happening to them. They may have been threatened. It may take you bringing up the subject first to learn more about any physical, sexual, or emotional abuse against your loved one.
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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.
Official Government Sources And Law
Within Texass Texas Health and Human Services department lies the department responsible for regulating nursing homes. This was formerly the responsibility of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services but, as of Sept. 1, 2017, was merged with the Texas Health and Human Services. As a result, DADS is no longer a program within the state.
Perhaps the most important thing to understand is that there are numerous programs paid for by taxpayer money for state residents in need of help. Whether it be help with transportation to medical appointments or even in-home service, know that there are options.
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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.
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.
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