Most Texas residents have heard horror stories about nursing homes, so they are sensitive to this issue when looking for a home in which to put an elderly loved one. The problem is that it is not always possible to determine whether nursing home neglect is an issue while "interviewing" staff and taking tours. Families try to be diligent and make sure that their loved ones are well cared for, but they cannot be there all of the time. Therefore, the question becomes what to do if you suspect that a loved one is not being properly cared for at a nursing home?
For many Texas residents, the first indication they have that something is wrong is when they receive a phone call about an incident or are told about one when you visit. You might be informed that your loved one fell, wandered off, suffered some other injury or was in some other danger when the home's staff should have been paying attention. When visiting an elderly relative at a nursing home, you can look for certain signs of neglect and ask questions of the staff if you find something is amiss.
Some traumas are not as easily identifiable, so many people have to "go with their gut" that a resident is not being treated properly. For example, the signs of malnutrition and/or dehydration might not be visible before it's too late. Sexual and physical abuse can also be hard to detect, and it can be quite disturbing to find out that this has been occurring.
When you discover that your loved one has been somehow neglected or abused while in a nursing home, the first course of action is to ensure his or her safety. After that, an independent investigation into the suspected nursing home neglect or abuse needs to be conducted. Once all of the facts are gathered, a lawsuit can be filed against all of the relevant parties, along with a complaint to law enforcement officials (when warranted).