Abuse can happen to anyone, anywhere. Senior abuse can happen in their own home, in a family’s home, a boarding home, or nursing home facility. This can be physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, mental or emotional abuse. abandonment or exploitation. The Cooper Law Firm knows how to help.
Amid increasing reports of senior abuse and neglect Eric and his staff of professionals are working to keep the public informed about elderly rights and about new Texas laws designed to protect our elders. Eric’s legal representation is founded on providing caring consultation to clients, including nursing home residents and their families, about nursing home injuries.
Commitment to Senior Abuse Victims and Their Families
Nursing home lawyer Eric Cooper has one mission: to fight for the rights of victims of nursing home abuse, negligence, neglect and other injustices. As concerned individuals begin reporting elder abuse, Eric and his team engage in the pursuit of justice for them.
According to numerous studies, the most common types of elder abuse fall under the following categories:
- Neglect: occurs when a caregiver is negligent or indifferent to the well-being of the elderly person under their care. If a nursing home does not provide the necessary level of care required for the well-being of their resident, they may be negligent. Often, the neglect is not intentional, but rather a result of under-staffing problems at the nursing home.
- Abuse: of nursing home residents by a staff member or other residents includes physical, mental, and even sexual abuse.
- Physical Abuse includes everything from physical evidence of assault, such as bruises and broken bones, to untreated infections and bedsores.
- Mental Abuse may be more difficult to detect by the loved ones of a resident, but it can be just as damaging as physical abuse. This type of abuse includes isolation, threats, or intentional negligence.
- Sexual Abuse at nursing homes involves sexual harassment or sexual conduct that is forced on a resident without consent, and can also cause severe physical and emotional harm.
Common Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect:
Some common warning signs of abuse or neglect in nursing homes include but are not limited to the following:
- Sudden and severe weight loss, or other signs of malnourishment
- Bedsores: Bedsores are ulcers, caused by pressure placed on parts of the body. They can be caused by a number of factors, including an immobile resident not being turned appropriately. Bed sores vary in severity, and often initially appear as persistent red areas on the skin. If left untreated, these sores can become so deep that they reach the muscle, bone or tendon. The elderly have a higher risk of developing bed sores due to thin skin, malnutrition, and poor circulation. This type of neglect is preventable, but healing becomes more difficult if the sores are left untreated.
- Frequent bruising, cuts or open wounds
- Unexplained fractures or broken bones
- Over-medication, which is characterized by symptoms of lethargy, permanent involuntary muscle movements, seizures, and even sudden death.
Laws on Nursing Home Abuse in Texas
There are strict rules and regulations that must be followed in all nursing homes. Failure to adhere to the laws can result in stiff consequences, including, fees, penalties, restitution, and even jail time.
The Texas law states that mental and physical abuse, involuntary seclusion from others, and inappropriate use of residential property is unlawful. In addition, nursing home residents have the right to their own privacy and to have their dignity respected, their preferences accommodated, and a right to proper housekeeping for sanitary reasons.
Every nursing home resident has the right to be given proper healthcare with a plan tailored towards each individual’s personal health issues. Every resident is also allowed help with the proper exercises, professional help with any mental or social disabilities, access to water, and an adequate and nutritious daily diet of meals and snacks.
Furthermore, each nursing home facility should have a registered nurse on the premises seven days a week, for at least eight hours per day. A physician, dietician, dentist, and mental health professional must also be available.
Each nursing home is required to have an infection control regime in place in order to prevent the spreading and/or development of diseases. Moreover, a clean living environment is mandatory in all Texas nursing homes. Examples of a clean living environment include:
- Floors that are swept and mopped on a regular basis, or carpet that is cleaned and vacuumed on a regular basis.
- Linens should be washed and changed on a regular basis.
- Bathrooms and sinks must be in sterile conditions at all times. The kitchen area should be clean at all times. Dishes should be washed immediately after use, and tables, chairs, and counters should be wiped down several times throughout the day.
- Clothing worn by the residents should be soil-free and washed on a regular basis.
- Outdoor areas should not have any items obstructing the resident’s path, and walkways must be swept.
Are you or a family member suffering from senior abuse, nursing home abuse?
Make an appointment for a free consultation at our office by calling us at 855-297-4878. Cooper Law Firm handles nursing home injury and nursing home abuse cases throughout the East Texas Area, including Tyler, Marshall, Mt. Pleasant, Pittsburg, Jefferson, Paris, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Kilgore, Tatum, White Oak, Longview, Gladewater and White House.
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