If you're like many adult children in Texas, you may have thoroughly researched various assisted living facilities before choosing a new full-time residence for your aging mother or father. Such situations are intensely personal, and highly emotional as well when your parent is no longer able to live independently, and the need arises for you to entrust his or her care to nursing home officials and other care professionals. Of course, you assume that all caregivers will have your parent's best interests at heart.
Sadly, many nursing homes appear to be top notch facilities on the surface, while serious problems regarding abuse and neglect exist behind the scenes. If you know the signs of neglect ahead of time, you may be able to help your parent avoid trauma.
Have you noticed one or more of these things?
Your visits with your mother or father are likely the highlights of his or her days. However, if, upon arriving (or at any time during your visit) you notice something doesn't seem quite right, you may want to further investigate the situation. Below is a list of common signs that neglect or abuse is taking place:
- If your parent is typically an amiable person and suddenly becomes easily irritated or reclusive, you may want to ask if a particular issue is troubling him or her.
- Have you noticed marks on your parent's body that he or she is hesitant to explain? Any bruise, laceration or swelling is cause for concern, especially if you are not satisfied with the answers you get when inquiring about the injuries to nursing home employees.
- If your parent is listed as high risk for falls and is continually being left unsupervised, you definitely have reason to file a complaint with appropriate staff officials.
- Any sudden weight loss or disheveled appearance is also a possible sign of neglect and/or abuse. If your parent's clothing or bed sheets are soiled or appear to be unchanged within a reasonable amount of time, you may be dealing with a failure to provide adequate care.
- If you notice caregivers being emotionally abusive, yelling or snapping at your parent (or any other nursing home resident) it's a clear sign that further investigation is warranted because an abusive situation might be at hand.
The thought of a caregiver harming or wrongfully treating your parent is, of course, quite troubling. The sooner you do something about a questionable situation, the better; in fact, it may save your mother or father's life.
A Texas personal injury attorney experienced in elder law would know just what to do to look into any matter causing you concern regarding your parent's physical, emotional and/or mental well-being while living in a nursing home.