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Dallas Legal Issues Blog

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.

Deadly antipsychotic drugs make work easier for nursing home

Placing your loved one in a nursing home was not an easy decision. You may have tried as long as possible to be available to help your loved one at home, or perhaps you even moved him or her into your own home. However, if your loved one suffers from symptoms of Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, the situation likely became increasingly difficult to manage.

Whether it was an overload of little details or one terrifying moment that made you realize you were not qualified to provide the kind of care your loved one needed, you gave every effort to finding a facility that seemed staffed and capable to protect your family member. Since then, you may be noticing unsettling changes in your loved one, and it is not something you should dismiss too easily.

Is your parent receiving enough to eat in a nursing home?

When you chose a nursing home for your aging parent, you probably felt that you did your due diligence and you were putting him or her in the best environment possible. You counted on the staff to provide your loved one with the care he or she needs in order to remain comfortable and possibly even thrive in the environment.

Of course, you probably didn't expect your parent to be running marathons thanks to the nursing home, but you probably didn't expect him or her to lose weight, look weak or otherwise appear malnourished. After all, food should not be a concern in today's society, especially for elderly individuals whose nutrition makes a difference in their overall health.

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