Hospice care is often an essential aspect of providing care with dignity to elderly patients in Texas. Many patients who require hospice care suffer from serious diseases that impact their mental state, such as Alzheimer's or dementia. Failure to provide proper care for these already fragile patients can lead to catastrophic injuries or even death.
A Texas family recently contacted an area hospice provider to begin providing caretaker services for their 76-year-old loved one. The woman received an Alzheimer's diagnosis nine years ago, and her family says that her condition has seriously worsened over time. Her family claims that the recent stress surrounding Hurricane Harvey caused her to fear bathing, and she refused to do so.
Her husband says that he told the hospice care that his wife should not under any circumstances be forced to bathe. The providers apparently told him that they understood, and did not physically force any patients to get into showers. However, an orderly alleged forced his wife to get into the bath on Nov. 13, 2017, and seriously hurt her in the process. The elderly patient was bruised on her arms and hands, and also suffered severe trauma, aggravating her already devastating Alzheimer's disease.
The family has since filed a complaint, but the hospice employee is currently still employed while the agency conducts an internal investigation. A lawsuit has also been filed on the woman's behalf. Her husband expressed reluctance to seek monetary compensation, but said that he hoped the lawsuit would protect other patients from being seriously harmed. Although compensation for related financial damages is an important aspect of personal injury claims, many suits of this nature also serve the important purpose of protecting other potential victims from catastrophic injuries.
Source: click2houston.com, "Woman injured after hospice care worker forces her to bathe", Phil Archer, Nov. 20, 2017