Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Austin

Know the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Each year, thousands of American families face the difficult decision of whether or not to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home.  At Brown, Christie & Green, our nursing home abuse lawyer in Austin knows that this decision is never an easy one to make.  And as you make the decision, you are faced with placing a certain level of trust in the nursing home to provide care in an adequate manner.  Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is an all too often occurrence.

The truth is, not every nursing home is reputable, and a career in elder care is not for everyone.  If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in Austin without delay.  Victims of elder abuse are significantly more likely to die early and unexpectedly compared to nursing home residents who receive adequate care.

Signs your loved one may be experiencing abuse or neglect include:

  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Unclean bedding or living area
  • Acting fearful or withdrawn
  • Frequent crying
  • Persistent complaints of poor treatment
  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, or broken bones
  • Frequent “falls”
  • Blood on clothing or undergarments
  • Infection with venereal disease
  • Suspicious transfers or withdrawals of funds
  • Fraudulent checks or forged signatures
  • Cash, valuable, or other asset disappearance
  • Stolen identity

Any of the above occurrences are sufficient reason to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in Austin right away.  An attorney will be able to help you determine whether your loved one’s experience constitutes nursing home abuse.  This is done by conducting a thorough investigation into your case.

At Brown, Christie & Green, our experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in Austin is familiar with this process and how to quantify your loved one’s pain and suffering.  Call our nursing home abuse lawyer in Austin today if you have any suspicion of nursing home abuse.

Helpful Tips if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
  • Keep records of any visits to the facility
  • Take photographs of any injuries
  • Take photographs of unsanitary living spaces
  • Document interactions with staff
  • Keep copies of medical records
  • Keep copies of all financial statements

Being aware of the different types of nursing home abuse can help you protect your loved one.

Elderly Abuse in Nursing Homes: What Statistics Show

While it is difficult to imagine someone willfully and intentionally abusing an elderly individual, the fact is that elderly abuse in nursing homes happens at an alarming rate in the United States.  In 2013, the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee conducted research designed to highlight the prevalence of elderly abuse in nursing homes.  The report indicated that as many as 30 percent of nursing homes across the U.S. have been cited for abuse between 1999 and 2001 alone.  The 30 percent recorded accounts for nearly 9,000 citations across more than 5,200 facilities.

If the number of incident reports alone is not enough to concern U.S. families, the number of serious incident reports should.  The same report indicated that more than 1,600 reported cases of abuse were significant enough to have caused “actual harm to residents to place the resident in immediate jeopardy of death or serious injury”.

Elderly Abuse in Nursing Homes Higher among Federally Funded Facilities?

One element of the government research report that is particularly troubling is the fact that the vast majority of nursing homes cited for abuse violations are for-profit, with many accepting funding from the federal government.  According to the study, 11,000 of the 17,000 nursing homes in the U.S. are for-profit.  One of the downsides to for-profit nursing homes is the fact that limited and scrutinized funding often leads to lower pay for staff members.  In some cases, the lower pay could result in inadequate background checks and training.  Conversely, not-for-profit facilities may have access to more funding and more qualified staffing.

The Real Picture of the Elderly Population in the United States

With nursing home abuse reports increasing in number since the 1990’s, it is important to consider the future of the elderly population in the U.S., especially with the aging “baby boomer” population.  According to the National Center on Elder Abuse Administration on Aging, it is anticipated that individuals 65 and older will comprise 20 percent of the total population of the U.S. by 2050.  That is a significant concern for the individuals and agencies working to protect elderly Americans.

With a lack of properly trained staff at nursing homes an already growing problem, it is plausible that the reported 30 percent of nursing homes receiving citations could increase exponentially.

Common Frequently Asked Questions

How common is nursing home abuse?

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, the most recent major study showed that 7.6% to 10% of study participants experienced abuse in the prior year. According to a study conducted between 1999 and 2001, the numbers reported indicated that almost 1/3 of nursing homes in the U.S. were cited for an abuse violation during that time.

What are the signs of nursing home abuse?

Nursing home abuse or neglect can include numerous physical and emotional signs and symptoms. Some of the most common signs of abuse include:

  • Physical abuse: Keep an eye out for unexplained bruising, broken bones, burns, pressure sores, or neglected hygiene
  • Emotional abuse: Sudden changes in mood, increased anxiety or depression, withdrawing from social and family activities, and fearful behaviors may all be indicators of a problem
  • Sexual abuse: Signs of sexual abuse may include physical and emotional indicators, along with genital or anal pain or bleeding, or the presence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Financial abuse: Financial exploitation of the elderly is a significant problem in the U.S. Signs of financial abuse include unexplained discrepancies in financial records, sudden changes in named beneficiaries, missing property, uncharacteristic spending

Should I contact an attorney if I suspect nursing home abuse?

Yes. If you suspect nursing home abuse, it is extremely important that you contact an attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse. Every state has specific guidelines concerning elder abuse, along with laws and regulations for nursing homes. Contacting an attorney is the best way to be certain that the rights of you and your loved ones are protected and properly defended.