Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Fort Worth

Advocating for victims of nursing home abuse

Residents of nursing homes are often completely reliant on their caregivers for even their most basic needs, so it is wise to keep a close watch on the quality of care your loved one is receiving and to take action immediately if you see anything amiss. If you find yourself with questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Brown, Christie & Green, and speak with our nursing home abuse lawyer in Fort Worth.

When visiting a nursing home, there are a few things that you can take note of, which could indicate how well the nursing home is doing at providing quality care. Some of the most important things to pay attention to include:

  • Understaffed or Under-trained Staff – If you notice the workers in the nursing home always seem over-tasked and overwhelmed, your loved one might not be getting the attention and care that he or she needs.
  • Dramatically Worsening Medical Conditions – Nursing home staff is responsible for distributing and administering medication, even for coaxing disinclined residents into taking their medication on time and at the right dosage.  If your loved one has an ailment that seems to be failing to respond to treatment, or has suddenly gotten worse, that may be cause for alarm.
  • Unusual Financial Activity – Some nursing homes will help monitor a residents spending, but sudden changes in spending patterns, new accounts opened, bills left unpaid, or even changes to a will can indicate that your loved one has been tricked or taken advantage of by his or her caregivers.
  • Injuries – A heartbreaking reality of nursing homes is that some caregivers will take advantage of a resident’s physical weakness to literally push them around and cause physical harm.  Always ask your loved one and their caregivers about any falls, bruises, cuts, bleeding, or burns you notice.  The nursing home’s main responsibility is the safety of your loved one, and any incident that causes physical damage should have a verifiable explanation.
  • Bedsores – If your loved one requires mobility assistance, nursing home staff should regularly turn and reposition him or her to prevent bedsores from forming.  Failing to do so is neglect.

If you are visiting your loved one and find yourself concerned about these or other situations, contact Brown, Christie & Green right away.  Our nursing home abuse lawyer in Fort Worth can help you identify any warning signs that indicate neglect or abuse.

Victims of nursing home abuse are unlikely to speak up for themselves because of threats they may have received from their abusers or because of embarrassment.  They rely on their family and friends to know the signs, speak up, and take action when abuse is suspected.

What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
  • Talk to your loved one about your concerns.
  • Get advice from your healthcare provider.
  • Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer.
  • Contact adult protective services (APS).
  • If there is immediate danger, call 911.

Nursing home residents deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Anything less is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Fort Worth Offers Advice on How to Select a Nursing Home

Feeling confident that your loved one is getting the quality care that he or she deserves begins with the decision of when and where they should live. If a nursing home is on the horizon for your loved one, consider this advice on how to select a nursing home from our nursing home abuse lawyer in Fort Worth.

  • Research and Compare – When selecting a nursing home for your loved one, it is important to research each facility that you are considering, compare the facilities to one another, and select the nursing home that will be the best fit for your loved one.
  • Check Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare Website – When you visit the Medicare Nursing Home Compare website, you will be asked to follow these steps:
    • Type in the location.  You can search either via Zip Code, City, or State.
    • You may compare up to 3 nursing homes at a time.
    • Check the ratings.  The Medicare website provides information and ratings on nursing home information, overall rating, health inspections, staffing, quality measures, and distance.
    • Check the information related to health inspections summary, number of certified beds, Medicare and Medicaid participation, ownership, and whether or not the facility is within a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).
  • Talk to People you Trust – Talk to people you trust including family, friends, and physicians.  Ask for recommendations from people who have experience with nursing homes and long-term care facilities in your area. This is an easy and dependable way of obtaining first-hand, objective knowledge of the facilities that you are considering.  Don’t forget to speak with healthcare professionals, including your loved one’s primary care physician, about options in their area.
  • Visit the Facility – Visiting the facility that your loved one may reside at, either temporarily or permanently, may be the most important measure to take when choosing a nursing home.  Take an official tour, but also show up unannounced.  You want to gain a better understanding of how the facility operates on a day-to-day basis without outside influence or supervision affecting the facility’s routine. What should you look for?
    • Check the hallway.  Are there potential hazards?  Does it look like an engaging and supportive environment?
    • Check the room that your loved one will be staying in.  Is it conveniently located to the bathroom and other facilities?  Are there hazards, such as mold, broken windows or doors, debris, or water on the ground?
    • Check the cafeteria.  How clean is it?  What type of food do they serve?
    • Ask to speak with staff members.  It is important to gauge the level of friendliness, compassion, and knowledge that nursing home staff members have.
    • Read through their safety procedures and protocols.  Do they implement their safety procedures and protocols?  What is their plan in case of emergencies?
  • Evaluate the facility with all of your senses – Listen at how the staff treats the residents. Listen to the residents.  Are they happy?  Are they calm?  Visually observe the facility and the residents.  Are there potential hazards?  Are the patients over-medicated?  Do the residents appear to be enjoying their time there?  Are they kept clean, well fed, and well hydrated?  Taste the food.  Is it nutritious?  Is it good quality?  Smell the facility.  Does it smell clean?  Can you smell ammonia?  Touch the doors, windows, tables, and beds.  Are they in good condition?
  • Meet the Staff – Ask to meet with charge nurses, doctors, and/or therapists.  It is always a good idea to know who will be treating your loved ones.  It is also a good idea to introduce yourself so they know who to contact if there is an emergency.  The more contact you have with the charge nurses, doctors, therapists, and staff, the more likely they are to contact you as soon as they have concerns.
  • Management – Check whether or not a management company runs the facility.  If a management company runs the facility, you should also check the Medicare score for each of that company’s facilities.

If you are visiting facilities and have questions or concerns, or want to know more about the legal rights of nursing home residents, contact our nursing home abuse lawyer in Fort Worth to find out more.

Common Frequently Asked Questions

Are nursing homes really safe?

Deciding to place a family member in a nursing home can be a difficult choice to make. We want what is best for our loved ones, and sometimes placing them in a nursing home is our only option. That is why it is important to conduct thorough research on nursing homes and facilities as some provide greater quality of care, supervision, and dedication. Nursing homes are not always unsafe, but you must regularly monitor the treatment of care that your loved one is receiving.

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