The families of elderly seniors often have to make the difficult decision to place their loved one
in a nursing home. In some cases, this is simply because they remain unable to provide the care, supervision, and medication attention they need on a daily basis to ensure their safety.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, nursing homes have a duty to ensure that their residents always receive proper care and appropriate supervision. Some elderly residents of nursing homes struggle with dysphagia, or an issue with swallowing due to neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It can also occur due to muscle weakening which can happen as the body ages.
Elderly residents should always receive a plan of care when they enter a nursing home that is specifically tailored directly to meet their needs. If a senior has any of the challenges with swallowing listed above, this should be clear in their plan of care. If a nursing home resident suffers from dysphagia and mobility issues, they may not have the ability to alert someone if they begin to choke on food or medicine.
These residents should receive constant monitoring when they eat or take their prescriptions. If your elderly loved one suffered from mobility issues that resulted in injuries from choking, you may have the right to pursue legal action on their behalf.
Mobility Issues in Nursing Homes
BMC Nursing research published that clearly indicates that mobility is a significant issue with the population of elderly residents in nursing homes. When residents remain unable to freely move about on their own, they may need assistance with daily tasks such as going to the bathroom, repositioning to avoid bedsores, or help with personal hygiene.
Another area that many elderly residents must receive help with is eating, drinking and taking medication. Some elderly residents are not able to go to the cafeteria, so their food and medications must directly come to their rooms. If a nursing home staff member leaves the food in a room with a resident, and the resident remains unsupervised, they may not have the ability to contact a nursing home employee if they begin to choke.
Failing to help patients with mobility issues who are choking is a completely preventable occurrence. Nursing home staff members must always provide for the safety and care of all of their residents. Their duties include making sure that any residents that lack mobility have an easy way to communicate to the nursing home staff if they begin choking on their food or medication.
Dysphagia in Nursing Homes
Some elderly residents in nursing homes suffer from both mobility issues as well as dysphagia, which occurs when a person has difficulty swallowing. Unfortunately, this condition occurs in elderly populations. As the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders research shows, it takes over 50 pairs of nerves and muscles to swallow properly, which can deteriorate and weaken over time.
Additionally, several neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, which are also prevalent in the elderly population, can make swallowing much more difficult, according to Clinical Interventions in Aging. If an elderly resident of a nursing home has either mobility issues, dysphagia, or both, these medical conditions should remain clearly notated in their plan of care. In these cases, the nursing home staff should always ensure that the resident has additional supervision while eating or taking medications to prevent choking, serious injuries, or even death.
Nursing Home Neglect
Neglect of elderly residents in nursing homes occurs with great frequency, and nursing home negligence results in the catastrophic injuries and deaths of many seniors throughout the United States. Failing to monitor and supervise residents adequately is a sign of nursing home neglect, and you have the right to receive justice on behalf of your elderly loved one.
Wrongful Death Due to Choking
Unfortunately, when a nursing home staff employee fails to help patients with mobility issues who are choking, the result can be severe injuries or death. Nursing homes have a responsibility to ensure that all of their residents receive proper medication, nutrition, and supervision while they consume these important items for their health.
If a senior resident with mobility issues chokes, and remains unable to receive assistance, they may suffer from lack of oxygen to their body and brain or even death. If you feel your elderly loved one in a nursing home died due to choking complications as a result of their mobility issues, you may have the right to pursue justice and compensation on their behalf.
How a Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyer Can Help
If your elderly loved one suffered injuries in a nursing home, consider Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. You can learn how a nursing home neglect and abuse attorney may be able to help you pursue justice on behalf of your loved one. Contact us at (800) 842-6336 or online today.