According to research published in Injury Prevention, choking deaths rank higher for the elderly than for any other age category. When your loved one is in a nursing home, the last thing you want to worry about is the possibility of choking if they are left unsupervised or unattended. Nursing home staff can be overwhelmed, but it is important for them to act responsibly to ensure quality care for all patients. Not all nursing home neglect is intentional, but choking is potentially fatal, and easily prevented or remedied.
If your loved one in a nursing home recently suffered injuries or passed away from a choking accident, a Chicago choking lawyer can help you secure awards for nursing home neglect and abuse. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.
Nursing Home Care Plans
In order to prevent accidents like choking, nursing homes and families work together to create a plan for care. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Nursing Home Toolkit, a basic plan for care includes details about:
- Medical needs;
- Nursing needs; and
- Psychosocial needs.
Such plans are required to be made within two weeks of your loved one entering a nursing home for long-term care. This is where, with the help of your loved one’s known habits, medical records, and conditions, you can specify mealtime requirements. In addition to meeting these needs, the plan of care must address exactly how each need is met while they are living in the nursing home.
Every nursing home resident has the right to be treated according to a specific care plan, and it must cover basic food and hydration needs, proper medication, regular restroom use, limited restraints, necessary medical care, and protection from physical, emotional, and verbal abuse.
When nursing home staff does not meet the basic needs of your loved one, it can be considered abuse or neglect, even if it is unintentional. If you believe your loved one may be the victim of abuse or neglect due to choking, it is important to write down your concerns and communicate them with nursing home staff. If that does not work, you may want to consider filing a legal claim against the nursing home.
Legal Options for Choking Incidents
If you are considering filing a legal claim for the abuse or neglect of your loved one, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible. Also, keep in mind the statute of limitations for each type of claim. Depending on your case, you may want to consider any of the following civil claims:
- Wrongful death: Statute of limitations is generally 2 years.
- Personal Injury due to negligence: Statute of limitations is usually 2 years.
Criminal prosecution against a nursing home is possible, but must prove known and intentional harm on the nursing home resident. In any case, know that the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins can help determine which type of lawsuit best fits your interests and needs. Our lawyers will take the complicated legal process and explain your options and work with your best interests in mind.
For a free legal consultation with a Choking Lawyer serving Chicago, call (800) 794-0444
Risks of Choking in a Nursing Home
Difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia, can be common in older adults, but it is not usually a normal symptom of aging. People with conditions like Parkinson’s disease or a history of stroke can be at higher risk of dysphagia. Nursing home staff should be trained to handle common chronic diseases and conditions that make a person more prone to choking on foods.
However, there are other circumstances in which an older person in a nursing home may choke due to the neglect of nursing home staff. The following potentially fatal situations are also easily preventable with adequate care and attention:
Special Assistance with Food
If your loved one has a history of difficulty swallowing, your care plan for them may include semi-solid foods, like peanut butter, applesauce, mashed potatoes, or eggs. If your loved one is too frail to eat alone, a part of the daily assistance they need to thrive may include supervision by a staff member.
If your loved one with an advanced degenerative disease uses a feeding tube to eat, ensuring proper functionality of all feeding equipment is vital. Aside from risks like infection and loss of appetite, nursing home staff must take steps to make sure the patient does not suffer from aspiration while using a feeding tube.
There are a couple of ways medication could result in an older person choking. First, medications like “sedatives and antipsychotic drugs” could be risk factors for choking in older adults. Second, patients who are not adequately monitored before, during, or after taking medication can be at risk for choking. It could be considered neglect or abuse if your loved one suffers from choking during routine medication administration.
If you suspect that your loved one choked due to the neglect or abuse of nursing home staff, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible to build your case. Our nursing home lawyers can help ease the burden of the litigation process. Give us a call to begin working on your case today.
Chicago Choking Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
We Can Navigate Nursing Home Abuse Laws
Although nursing homes are highly regulated, nursing home neglect and abuse is still common. Choking is preventable. If your loved one suffered pain or passed away after a choking incident, our Chicago choking lawyers can help get you compensation for the damages accrued.
If we cannot settle with the nursing home, our Chicago choking attorneys will fight for your rights in court. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to begin working on your case today.