Nursing Home Negligence Increases in Texas
Elder abuse and nursing home negligence should never be a concern, let alone a reality, for anyone with a loved one in a long-term care facility, assisted living residence or nursing home. However, this issue is now one of the prevailing anxieties for family members with parents in a nursing home or who may be shopping for an affordable, comfortable facility compatible with their loved ones’ needs and interests.
This is evidenced by recent local and national news stories, such as those coming out of Texas. An investigative team with KVUE News (Channel 33), an ABC-affiliated television station in Austin, reported an uptick in nursing home negligence within the state. Texas nursing home residents are increasingly the victims of medication errors, KVUE revealed. In 2013, the state issued nearly 200 more citations to nursing homes than in 2011 (when 1,060 medication error citations were issued), according to state records. Issues with staff dispensing “unnecessary drugs” to residents increased the most by more than 78 percent.
This report follows AARP’s study of nursing home care nationwide (i.e. State Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard) that was released earlier this year. The AARP survey found that Texas nursing homes ranked 49th for quality of care and quality of life. Texas also received low marks for their prevalent use of antipsychotic medication. The report found that 27.6 percent of nursing home residents in Texas — as opposed to the national average of 20 percent — received antipsychotic drugs. Antipsychotics are prescribed for residents to treat mental illness. However, they are often misused and prescribed to residents with no mental illness; they work as chemical restraints for boisterous, disorderly residents. Staffing shortages are contributing to this issue.
Of course, Texas isn’t the only state with nursing home negligence. If you suspect abuse or negligence, the nursing home abuse lawyers of Garcia & Artigliere encourage you to contact one of our attorneys by calling 800-281-8515. Submit your concerns for a free case review here.