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As a society, we do everything in our power to ensure that our elderly loved ones are comfortable and well taken care of. Finding the right nursing home that provides quality healthcare is a critical aspect of this process, and yet more and more nursing homes are being reported for neglecting the health and needs of their residents. Sadly, a majority of the nursing home abuse and neglect that takes place in our nation goes unreported. It is estimated that over 2 million Americans over the age of 65 have been abused, neglected or mistreated by their primary caregivers. Simply put, almost one (1) out of every ten (10) elderly persons will experience some sort of elderly abuse.
 
HAS YOUR ELDERLY LOVED ONE BEEN THE VICTIM OF ABUSE?
 
Common forms of nursing home abuse or neglect include:
 
Physical abuse
Emotional and verbal abuse
Sexual abuse
Financial exploitation
Neglecting hygiene
Neglecting basic needs
 
Some of the most common injuries in nursing homes are due to understaffing. Other types of abuse and negligence include fractures, bedsores, and bleeding in the brain. If you suspect your elderly loved one is suffering from neglect or a type of abuse, you must take action immediately to protect their rights, their health, and their future.
 
SIGNS OF ELDER ABUSE

Part of what makes nursing home abuse so dangerous is that it can be difficult to detect. If your elderly loved one is in a nursing home, you must constantly be on the lookout for signs of abuse and pay attention to the smallest of details. These signs can include weight loss, bruises, scrapes, or bed sores, but they may not always be physical. Emotional abuse can include humiliation, insults, threats, and attempts to frighten the resident, as well as failure to recognize or regard the resident’s wishes. You must also be on the lookout for signs of neglect, which can include failure to change bedding or wash the resident, as well as the withholding of food or water.
 
CAUSES OF NURSING HOME ABUSE IN TEXAS
 
From not having enough food to not having running air conditioning or heat, many elderly people are forced to live in horrible conditions in nursing homes. Some nursing homes are even guilty of nursing home fraud, which is the crime of billing Medicare or Medicaid for services that are not actually provided. Residents who live in unsanitary, unsafe environments and residents who look malnourished or dehydrated may be the helpless victims of this type of fraud. Other mistakes and violations on behalf of nursing homes can include the following:
 
INADEQUATE STAFFING

Nursing homes must maintain a staff that is large enough to take proper care of the residents, and yet many homes are reducing hours for their employees in an effort to cut costs. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care stated that without at least 2.8 hours of nurse aid care, 1.3 hours of licensed nurse care, and .75 hours of care by an R.N., residents of nursing homes are much more likely to experience poor outcomes. Unfortunately, 97% of nursing homes don’t have enough nurses and nurse assistants to provide this level of care to their residents. When this happens, residents are neglected and can suffer from malnutrition, dehydration, starvation or bed sores.
 
FAILURE TO PAY VENDORS
 
Nursing homes must pay their food suppliers and providers of clinical laboratory services, medical waste disposal, trash disposal and nursing supplies, and a failure to pay for these services will result in poor care for residents. In some cases, residents must go without food, water, and the appropriate hygiene care because these resources are not available.
 
If you suspect that your elderly loved one is suffering from abuse, the time to act is now! When you call The Law Offices of David McQuade Leibowitz, P.C., David McQuade Leibowitz can begin the investigation into your suspicions immediately. Some of the types of abuse that may be found include sexual, financial, and psychological abuse. He knows how to protect your loved one’s rights when signs of abuse are present.
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