Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Louisiana & Texas

Nursing Home Abuse

What to Look For & How to Protect Your Loved Ones

As a personal injury attorney with nearly 30 years of experience in Louisiana and Texas, I, Bart Bernard, have witnessed the devastating impact of nursing home abuse and neglect. It’s a heartbreaking reality that affects far too many elderly individuals in our communities. This comprehensive guide will shed light on the signs of abuse, your legal rights, and how to take action to protect those you care about.

The Scope of the Problem: Disturbing Statistics

The numbers are alarming:

  • National: An estimated 1 in 10 seniors over age 60 experience some form of elder abuse (National Council on Aging).
  • Texas: Texas Adult Protective Services (APS) received over 85,000 reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adults in 2022 alone.
  • Louisiana: Adult Protective Services (APS) in Louisiana investigates thousands of elder abuse cases each year.

These figures are likely just the tip of the iceberg, as many cases go unreported due to fear or shame.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Abuse can take many forms, and it’s crucial to recognize the signs:

  • Physical Abuse: Unexplained bruises, cuts, broken bones, or signs of restraint.
  • Emotional/Psychological Abuse: Withdrawal, depression, anxiety, or unusual changes in behavior.
  • Neglect: Bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, unsanitary living conditions, or unattended medical needs.
  • Financial Abuse: Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts, missing belongings, or changes in wills.
  • Sexual Abuse: Bruises around breasts or genitals, unexplained STDs, or sudden fear of a particular caregiver.

Spotting the Red Flags: Subtle Signs of Abuse

Sometimes, the signs are less obvious:

  • Unexplained Injuries: Frequent falls or injuries without a clear explanation.
  • Sudden Changes in Behavior: Increased agitation, fear, or depression.
  • Reluctance to Talk About Care: Fear of retaliation from caregivers.
  • Isolation: Being kept away from family and friends.
  • Staff Turnover: High turnover rates among staff can be a warning sign of internal problems.

Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents

Both Texas and Louisiana have laws in place to protect nursing home residents:

  • Right to Dignity and Respect: Residents must be treated with respect and consideration.
  • Right to Be Free from Abuse and Neglect: Facilities have a legal obligation to prevent harm.
  • Right to Quality Care: This includes proper medical attention, nutrition, and hygiene.

What to Do If You Suspect Abuse or Neglect

  1. Report It: Contact Texas Adult Protective Services (1-800-252-5400) or Louisiana Adult Protective Services (1-833-577-6532).
  2. Document Everything: Take photos, notes, and get copies of medical records.
  3. Consult an Attorney: An experienced personal injury lawyer specializing in nursing home abuse can advise you on your legal options.

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers: Fighting for Your Loved Ones

Nursing home abuse is never acceptable. At Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers, we’re committed to holding negligent facilities accountable and seeking justice for victims. If you or a loved one has suffered from abuse or neglect, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll fight tirelessly to protect your rights and ensure your loved one receives the care and respect they deserve.

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