While many nursing homes provide excellent care to their residents, far too many fall appallingly short. For some nursing facilities, the focus on the “bottom line” results in understaffed nursing homes with untrained and underpaid employees. Residents of these facilities can suffer terribly in their last days due to the negligence of their caregivers.
Nursing Home Falls
As we age, our bodies may become weaker, our vision deteriorates and our balance isn’t what it used to be. In addition, elderly nursing home residents may be taking medications that cause impairment. Even seemingly mild falls can result in permanent injury or death.
When a resident moves into a nursing home, the facility should design a care plan that includes a “fall risk assessment.” The purpose of this assessment is to determine what assistance the resident may need to safely move about. Most falls in nursing homes are the result of a variety of factors such as poor lighting, wet floors, poorly fitted wheelchairs or improper bed height.
Falls can be prevented. Restraints, such as bed rails, are typically a last resort. Walking and physical conditioning programs, lowered bed heights, raised toilet seats and avoiding clutter can all help prevent falls. Additionally, facilities should ensure there is adequate staff available to assist residents.
Pressure sores, also known as bed sores, are all too common in nursing homes. Tragically, the vast majority of pressure sores are the result of inattentive care and could have been prevented. Pressure sores can be incredibly painful, causing disability and greatly increasing the resident’s risk of complications like sepsis or gangrene.
Some very basic preventive measures have been proven to protect residents from this type of injury. These include turning residents at regular intervals, keeping them clean and dry, ensuring that they are well-hydrated and properly nourished.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury due to nursing home negligence, it must be investigated immediately so the appropriate care and treatment can be provided. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can assist you in obtaining an adequate monetary award.