Texas nursing home abuse laws exist to provide guidelines for the standards of care that nursing home residents must receive. The primary goal of Texas nursing home laws is to ensure that residents are treated with sufficient care to maintain the highest possible level of physical, mental, and social health.
In addition to optimal wellbeing, patients are entitled to living conditions that are free from physical, sexual, mental, and verbal abuse. The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) oversees nursing home regulations.
Quality of Care
Under Title 40, Part 1, Chapter 19 of the Texas Administrative Code, nursing home residents are entitled to a certain quality of care. Under these Texas nursing home laws, residents must receive the necessary services and care to attain or maintain the highest possible mental, physical, and psychosocial wellbeing.
Each patient’s comprehensive care plan must be planned and executed in a manner that achieves these goals. A comprehensive care plan should cover needs including room and board, over-the-counter drugs, social services, personal needs items, and medical supplies and equipment.
Basic Rights in Texas Nursing Homes
Under Texas nursing home laws, residents must receive respect for their individuality and dignity. Additionally, the needs and preferences of each resident must be individually met. These needs should be met through a personalized care plan that is tailored to each resident. This care plan should systematically address the patient’s nursing, medical, mental, and social needs.
Texas nursing home laws are in place to ensure that each patient receives the most effective care possible. A resident’s mental and physical capabilities may not decline unless clinically unavoidable. These capabilities include bathing, using the toilet, dressing, eating, moving, and grooming. If residents are unable to perform any daily living activities on their own, the nursing home is required to provide adequate assistance.
Hygiene and Sanitation in Texas Nursing Homes
Each nursing home in Texas must receive housekeeping and maintenance that ensures a sanitary, orderly, and comfortable environment for residents. The beds and bath linens of each resident must be clean, in good condition, and changed regularly. Unless clinically avoidable, patients must not develop bed sores, or pressure sores. If a resident develops bed sores, Texas nursing home laws require treatment that promotes healing and prevents new sores from developing.
Diet and Medication – Texas Nursing Home State Laws
Texas nursing home laws state that residents must be provided with adequate diet and hydration that suits their personal needs and medical conditions. Special dietary needs must be planned for and met when appropriate for each patient. The food provided must be palatable and nutritious.
Nasogastric tubes may not be used for feeding unless medically necessary. Residents who receive nasogastric care must be treated so that ulcers, pneumonia, dehydration, and other poor nasogastric care issues do not develop. Patients must not be subjected to significant errors in medication. Furthermore, residents must not be given unnecessary drugs.
Texas Nursing Home Staff Requirements
Texas nursing home laws require that each facility has a sufficient number of staff members to ensure that all resident needs are met. Furthermore, the staff must be sufficient in attaining the highest practicable mental, physical, and social wellbeing of residents according to their plan of care. A registered nurse must be on duty at each facility for eight hours a day during all seven days of the week. While there is no set ratio of caregivers to residents, the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (NCCNHR) has produced guidelines for suggested minimum ratios.
The NCCNHR recommends the following ratios of caregivers to residents:
- During the day: one direct care giver for every five residents
- During the evening: one direct caregiver for every 10 residents
- During the night: one direct care giver for every 15 residents
“Nursing Facilities.” Resources for DADS Service Providers. Department of Aging and Disability Services, 9 Apr 2013. Web. 20 May 2013. <http://www.dads.state.tx.us/providers/NF/>.
“Selecting a Nursing Home.” Attorney General of Texas Greg Abbott. Office of the Attorney General, 1 Mar 2012. Web. 20 May 2013. <https://www.oag.state.tx.us/elder/select.shtml>.
“Texas Administrative Code.” Texas Secretary of State John Steen. Office of the Secretary of State. Web. 20 May 2013. <http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=40&pt=1&ch=19&rl=901>.