When your family member is admitted to a nursing home, either for short-term rehabilitation following hospitalization or for long-term care, you are placing your trust in that facility and its employees to care for them and keep them safe.
Nursing homes are required by law to have “sufficient nursing staff with the appropriate competencies and skillsets to provide nursing and related services to assure resident safety.” They are responsible for assessing patients to learn their safety risks, implementing care plans that address those risks, and responding to residents’ needs. When nursing homes don’t meet their basic responsibilities, residents can become sick or injured, require hospitalization, and suffer premature death.
Nursing home falls
Nursing homes must make sure that each resident receives proper supervision and assistance to prevent accidents such as falls. Nevertheless, about half of all nursing home residents fall each year, and one-third of those residents fall multiple times. Ten percent of falls result in serious injuries (such as hip fractures, femur fractures, humerus fractures, broken necks, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries), causing intense pain and debility; about 1800 residents die annually from falling. Some falls are not preventable, but most are if nursing homes follow safety rules to protect their patients. Even a resident’s first fall can be prevented if the nursing home properly identifies their fall risk and puts measures in place to protect them.
Pressure injuries (also called pressure ulcers, wounds, and bedsores) are an indicator of a nursing home’s quality of care overall. While most pressure injuries can heal with proper nursing care and referral to a wound care doctor if necessary, prevention is the key to avoiding these injuries.
Other consequences of nursing home negligence
Other issues can also occur when nursing homes violate safety rules put in place to protect their vulnerable residents. This includes:
- Burn injuries
- Physical and sexual assaults
- Elopement (leaving the building unsupervised)
If you suspect that a loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, the experienced attorneys at Allen & Allen may be able to help. Call today for a free consultation at 866-388-1307.