4 signs a loved one may be suffering nursing home abuse in Texas

The signs of nursing home abuse in Texas range from the visible to the not-so-obvious.

Nursing home abuse can manifest in a number of ways. Someone living in a Texas facility could suffer physical, emotional or sexual wrongdoing. As the Texas Attorney General points out, someone who suspects a loved one may be a victim should contact the Texas Department of State Health Services immediately.

The first step in protecting a loved one is knowing how to spot the signs of abuse, such as the following:

1. Bruises or markings

Perhaps one of the most obvious signs of physical abuse in a nursing home is a bruise or other mark on a loved one. The National Center on Elder Abuse states that striking, hitting, shaking or slapping could all result in these marks. Additionally, it is possible that someone could have markings from where he or she was restrained, which would likely be on the wrists or forearms.

2. Sudden change in behavior

It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly why an elderly loved one could be acting differently. There are a number of medical reasons, such as a stroke or dementia, that could lead to a change in behavior.

However, abuse also can trigger people to deviate from their normal behavior patterns. Someone could seem withdrawn or even depressed as a result of the wrongdoing.

3. Unexplained medical conditions

One earmark of sexual abuse is an unexplained infection or venereal disease. It is important to point out that sexual abuse can happen between residents or due to a staff member taking advantage of a patient. In any case, if testing shows that someone has suddenly contracted a sexually transmitted disease, it may be cause to suspect foul play.

4. Visibly tense relationships

One way friends and family can pick up on the possibility that someone is suffering elder abuse is to monitor the relationships between a loved one and staff members. If there has been wrongdoing, the resident may tense up or act differently around someone who has committed the abuse.

Each of these symptoms on its own could be nothing more than happenstance. An elderly person could fall and get a bruise, or another explanation could be the cause. However, family members should remain vigilant any time any of these issues arises. Speaking with the staff or elevating the issue to a Texas authority may be necessary.

When nursing home abuse does happen, victims can seek legal remedies. Not only may they leave the facility, but they can also seek compensation and justice from the responsible party. Anyone who has questions regarding this issue should speak with a personal injury attorney in Texas.