America’s population is aging, and individuals are living longer as life expectancy continues to increase. As a result, nursing homes are becoming a part of more Texan’s lives, and families are often tasked with choosing an institution for their loved ones. Choosing a Texas nursing home is an incredibly important decision, because residents – who are often weak and vulnerable – will likely be there for the rest of their lives. Families, of course, want to ensure that their loved ones are safe and well taken care of. Unfortunately, however, far too many families end up placing their loved ones in subpar institutions, either due to financial concerns or lack of thorough research. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is a chronic and persistent problem in Texas, victimizing hundreds of elderly residents every year.
For example, according to a recent report, out of 62 nursing homes in San Antonio, five were recently flagged by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for severe instances abuse and neglect of their residents. These instances include neglecting and ignoring residents’ medical needs, physical assault, verbal attacks, and even sexual abuse. While these instances would be concerning in any situation, they are of particular concern in nursing homes, where the victims are often incredibly vulnerable, reliant on their nursing home for all aspects of their care, and may lack the funds needed to transfer institutions.
The best way to avoid nursing home abuse of your loved ones is to do careful research of nursing homes in your area. One useful tool is Medicare.com, which allows families to search every Medicaid and Medicare certified nursing home in Texas. In addition to providing information on staffing and health inspections, the website will report recent incidents of nursing home abuse in each facility, so families can be aware of which institutions to avoid. Doing this research may take a little extra time, but the knowledge about the potential problems can spare a family, and a victim, immense pain and suffering down the line.