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Dallas Legal Issues Blog

Nursing homes use questionable method to prevent falls

Growing older often means losing strength and agility, sometimes to the point where it is difficult to stand or walk without assistance. Medical conditions may cause one to feel off balance, and certain medications may result in dizzy spells. Any of these or other conditions can lead to falls that may result in serious injuries.

If you have a loved one who is under the care of a Texas nursing home staff, you might expect the staff to be aware of the conditions that make your loved one susceptible to falls. What you may not realize is how some nursing homes deal with fall risks.

Watch out for these contractor scams used on seniors

Medical science now lets people live longer than at any point in recent history. This means that a large segment of the population is now over the age of 65. In fact, the average age in this country continues to rise as baby boomers become grandparents and great grandparents.

The fact that people are living longer also seems to give unscrupulous contractors a larger pool of victims. You may admire your elderly parent for maintaining his or her independence, but your parent is also vulnerable to scams perpetrated by people who would take advantage of them.

Issues to keep in mind regarding medical malpractice claims

Did you seek medical treatment in Texas only to wind up in worse condition than you were in beforehand? Do you suspect that a licensed medical worker's negligence was a direct cause of injury or illness to you or one of your loved ones? Perhaps, you believe you have grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against one or more people who were involved in your or your family member's care.

It is critical that you understand the basic concepts of filing a personal injury claim, which is a broader category of law under which medical malpractice falls. In short, just because something did not turn out as you'd hoped during or after medical treatment, surgery or after taking medication, etc., this doesn't necessarily mean you have grounds for filing a medical malpractice claim.

Guardianship may keep your loved one safe when Alzheimer's hits

One of the most devastating diagnoses a child may hear about a parent is Alzheimer's disease. This progressive form of dementia can quickly rob a once robust parent of the simplest capacities. It may also alter the victim's personality, forcing family and friends to watch helplessly as the person they loved slips away.

However, this feeling of helplessness does not have to mean the parent has no one to protect him or her. In fact, if your parent does not have a power of attorney in place, you may decide the time is right to seek legal guardianship so you will have the authority to make sound medical, financial and legal decisions for him or her.

Driving at night requires hightened attention and more

You could drive the same roads every day, but they look different during the day than they do at night. You may know enough about the road to think you could drive it blindfolded, but that doesn't mean that you don't need to pay extra attention after the sun goes down.

Like other parts of the country, many of the accidents that happen here in Dallas happen at night. Understanding why could help you avoid a collision.

Are you concerned about a trustee acting inappropriately?

Acting as a trustee is a major responsibility. You may not hold this position yourself, but you are the beneficiary of a trust. Your loved one may have protected assets for you to receive later by utilizing this planning tool, and now the trustee is in charge of following the instructions your loved one left behind.

Because the trustee manages the trust, you likely have to communicate with him or her if you have questions or concerns. Of course, getting in touch with the trustee may prove difficult at times, especially if the trust has multiple beneficiaries who make requests. Still, if your requests for information or other actions go unanswered for too long, you may understandably worry that the trustee is not handling his or her duties appropriately.

Power of attorney agents can breach fiduciary duties

There comes a time in many Texas residents' lives in which they can no longer handle all the important aspects of their lives themselves. You may have a loved one who began to experience mental decline due to dementia or another cognitive disease, but fortunately, your loved one took the time to create an estate plan that accounted for such a scenario.

In particular, your family member appointed a person to act on his or her behalf by naming that person as a power of attorney agent. At first, knowing that your loved one had made this appointment may have given you some peace of mind. However, you now worry that the agent is not acting in your loved one's best interests.

Unreported nursing home injuries make it hard to choose one

When doing research to find a nursing home for your aging loved one, your primary concern may be to find a home where the chances of your family member suffering from neglect or abuse are low to non-existent. You may try to look into reports of unexplained injuries indicative of abuse or neglect that may happen in a particular nursing home and either find none or very few.

This may give you a feeling of security when it comes to choosing a nursing home, but that feeling may be misplaced. Apparently, many instances of abuse and neglect go unreported despite laws requiring it.

What factors put your elderly loved one at risk for abuse?

When you realize that your elderly loved one can no longer care for him- or herself, you must make the difficult decision to find a nursing home. You hope that the home you choose will care for your aging family member as you would.

Unfortunately, that does not always happen. More than likely, stories you hear about the neglect and abuse that can happen to the elderly in nursing homes only fueled the intensity of your search for the right home. You did your best, and now, you need to remain vigilant to make sure your loved one does not become the victim of abuse or neglect.

Here's what's happening on the other side of a med mal case

When your loved one reaches a stage in life where he or she can no longer provide for his or her own daily function needs, it is logical to consider transitioning to a nursing home or assisted-living facility as an option. There may be any number of issues that arise during residence in such places that necessitate a visit to a doctor or hospital emergency room. In fact, over time, numerous licensed medical care providers may tend to your loved one's needs.

If, however, someone fails in his or her fiduciary duty and your family member suffers injury because of it, he or she may decide to file a medical malpractice claim in a civil court. There are two sides to such cases, and the more you know about certain things that typically happen on a defendant's side of the issue, the better prepared you'll be to help your loved one seek justice if a problem arises.

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Law Offices of Brian H. Fant, P.C.
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