In Texas, a number of nursing home abuse laws are in place to ensure a high standard of care for residents of these facilities. The laws are meant to keep those who live in the homes safe and healthy. Residents are entitled to proper care and there should be no instances of any type of abuse – verbal, mental, sexual, or physical. In Texas, the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) covers the regulations for homes.
Texas Administrative Code states that residents of elder care facilities receive quality care. The law states that the residents should receive all needed services needed to maintain the “highest possible mental, physical, and psychosocial wellbeing.” All patients will have a comprehensive care plan when they go into one of these homes. The care plan needs to cover all aspects of life for the patient including personal items, medical supplies, OTC drugs, social services, and room and board.
All residents in nursing homes in Texas are to receive respect and have their dignity intact. It is also important that the needs of each individual resident are met through their care plan. In addition, each patient needs to ensure that the residents are able to take care of their basic needs, such as bathing, going to the toilet, eating, and being mobile. If they are not able to do this, the home needs to provide the assistance for them.
Texas law requires that all nursing homes be clean and well-maintained. Facilities need to provide sanitary conditions for all of the patients. Patients need to have clean linens for the bed and clean towels for the bathroom. Patients need to be checked for the potential of bedsores and moved often enough that they do not develop, unless it is medically unavoidable. Most of the time, doctors will have a plan to reduce the danger to patients who could develop these sores because of their condition.
All residents of nursing homes in the state need to have a proper diet and plenty of liquids for hydration to keep them as healthy as possible. The dietary and hydration needs are often different for each patient, and it is important that the staff be able to meet the needs of individual patients. This includes providing any special dietary needs. All food served to the patients needs to be nutritious.
The only time it is permissible to use nasogastric tubes to feed patients is due to a medical need. Those who do receive their nutrition this way will need to be monitored and cared for so that they do not dehydrate, develop ulcers, or other medical conditions.
Patients also need to have access to the medicine they need, and the staff needs to be very careful about errors in medicine. Additionally, patients should not receive any drugs – OTC or prescription – that are not necessary.
The law also states that the facility needs to have the correct number of people on staff to meet the requirements of all of the residents. All staff members need to have received proper training as well. An RN needs to be on duty at the facility for eight hours a day, seven days a week. During the day, guidelines suggest there needs to be one direct caregiver for every five residents. In the evening, there needs to be a direct caregiver for every ten residents, and at night, they need one direct caregiver for every fifteen residents.