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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.

Is it time to consider guardianship for your parent?

Your parent may have been your touchstone throughout most of your life. Whenever you had a problem, you may have gone to your mom or dad for advice, and you likely also relied on your parent for protection, love and care. Now that he or she has reached elder years, you may feel mixed emotions.

On one hand, you undoubtedly feel joyous that you still have your parent because so many people lose both of their parents before reaching your age. On the other hand, you may feel immense concern because your mother or father has started showing signs of serious mental decline and refuses help.

Texas ranks high in pedestrian fatalities

Walking is one of the most perfect ways to get around. It is healthy, efficient and environmentally friendly. If you walk regularly for these or other reasons, you may not limit yourself to the beautiful trails in the Dallas area. In fact, walking is something you do even if you're just crossing a parking lot between your car and the grocery store.

Unfortunately, one of the main drawbacks of being a pedestrian is the lack of protection from motor vehicles. Drivers, especially those with high profile vehicles, have an obligation to keep alert for walkers. Judging from the latest statistics of traffic safety, this is happening less often. Studies show that Texas has one of the highest rates of pedestrian deaths.

Unprofessional behavior leads to diagnostic mistakes

Spending time with your elderly parent may not be as easy as it used to be. Your mom or dad may use a lot of conversation time complaining about aches and pains, and this can be tiresome to hear. However, it should not be tiresome to a medical professional. If your loved one described symptoms to a Texas doctor who failed to give proper attention or take appropriate steps to diagnose the problem, your parent may have suffered needlessly.

Unfortunately, this situation occurs much too often. In fact, about 12 million patients suffer annually from diagnostic errors, and researchers are finding that the problem may begin early in the diagnostic process.

Did nursing home elopement place your parent in danger?

Perhaps one of the most heartbreaking days in your recent memory is the day you took your mother or father to live in a Texas nursing home. You knew at that point your parent's Alzheimer's or dementia was beyond your ability to manage, and you could no longer keep your loved one safe while tending to your own family obligations.

What you never expected was that your loved one would be able to walk out of the nursing home and off the property without anyone on staff noticing. Whether the event ended happily with your parent's safe return or tragically with your loved one suffering injury or death, you have the right to answers.

Protect your elderly parent by choosing the right long-term care

As your parents age, you may take on more responsibility for their care and well-being. In doing so, it may be up to you to choose the right long-term care for him or her. You may find this a daunting task due to the stories and media coverage you may have heard or seen regarding elder abuse and neglect.

In making your decision, it may help to understand what choices you have. The type of facility your parent ends up in largely depends on the level of care he or she needs.

Is your loved one a victim of elder fraud?

As your loved one gets older, you may be noticing signs of poor judgment. This is certainly upsetting, and you may do your best to shield him or her from any decisions that would cause harm. However, you may also be noticing signs that something is wrong with your loved one's finances.

It is not unusual for senior citizens to fall prey to fraud. In fact, some studies show as many as one in nine elderly citizens report being victims of some kind of abuse or exploitation, and even more feel they may be victims of fraud. These unconscionable actions upon the most vulnerable members of society can have physical and emotional effects as well as devastating financial consequences.

Can technology stop wrong-way drivers?

Even though only a handful of deaths each year are due to accidents involving wrong-way drivers, you may agree that the loss of life is unacceptable. For years, law enforcement and government officials have been attempting to reduce the number of these accidents.

Lately, some places have been using technology to keep people from getting onto the highway going the wrong direction. If they do get past the warning signs, other drivers and law enforcement officials receive notice of the driver. The hope is that drivers like you can get out of the way and police can stop the vehicle before the worst happens.

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