Nursing home residents should never suffer from serious choking incidents or suffocations while under the care and supervision of a nursing home. Seniors may struggle with swallowing due to common medical conditions that occur in those of advanced years, such as dysphagia. The combination of having challenges with swallowing along with a lack of monitoring by the nursing home staff could easily lead to a serious choking event or even the death of an elderly resident. If your loved one suffered an injury or death due to choking in a nursing home, contact a Riverside choking lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you determine if you have a strong case against the nursing home for elder abuse or neglect.
Risk of Choking in the Elderly
Unfortunately, as people age, they lose muscle strength everywhere, including in the muscles that help with swallowing. Additionally, many medical conditions, such as dementia, can increase the risk of choking. In fact, a study on dysphagia in the elderly showed that up to 93% of elderly persons with dementia struggled with swallowing or chewing. Other neurological disorders may affect an elderly person’s ability to control their muscles or nerves, including those that help them swallow.
If a senior suffered a stroke or any other type of brain injury, their chances of having swallowing issues grow exponentially as well due to the fact that the brain damage may impact their ability to swallow. Also, some cancers of the throat and esophagus may result in a senior’s difficulty in swallowing. Even the use of dentures in elderly residents can increase the risk of choking during mealtimes.
If an elderly person suffers from any of these commonly seen medical conditions, the nursing home staff then has a responsibility and duty to monitor them even more carefully to ensure that choking or suffocation does not occur.
Noticing Swallowing Problems in the Elderly
The nursing home should carefully monitor all of its residents to determine if they may have a swallowing problem, which constitutes a risk factor of choking. If your elderly loved one exhibits any of these symptoms, you should ensure that caregivers properly assist them during any mealtime to prevent choking or suffocation. They may identify residents with issues swallowing by looking for the following signs:
- Coughing while eating or after eating
- Clearing throat often, even when not eating
- Eating appears painful
- Food remains on only one side of the mouth
- Spitting out food
- A resident’s voice changes
- Drooling while eating
- Frequent heartburn
- Repeatedly chewing but failing to swallow
- Constantly touching upper chest or throat while eating
- Taking a long time to eat due to playing with food
- Eating too much too quickly and shoving food into the mouth
- Watery eyes or runny nose
- Unexplained weight loss
Additionally, every nursing home resident should receive a continual assessment regarding their medical condition, which includes choking risks. If a nursing home resident receives an assessment that says they are at risk of choking, they should receive additional attention during meals, receive physical therapy to help with choking, or even receive a choking-free diet to ensure their foods are safe to eat. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free case evaluation to help you determine your rights.
For a free legal consultation with a Choking Lawyer serving Riverside, call (800) 794-0444
Choking in Nursing Homes
Within the elderly population, choking risks remain high. The first step in the prevention of choking involves noticing the signs of swallowing challenges in an elderly resident listed above. The next step involves training all nursing home staff to immediately identify when a nursing home resident is choking. If any resident begins to cough, gag, signal panic, have a sudden inability to talk, grab their throat, or pass out, the nursing home staff should have immediate protocols in place regarding how to handle this emergency and save the elderly resident from serious injury or death.
Riverside Choking Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Choking and Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing homes have a responsibility to ensure that their residents remain safe. Each resident should receive an assessment regarding their choking risk. Caregivers should monitor them while they eat or swallow medication and take immediate emergency measures if they do happen to choke. If your elderly loved one suffered serious injuries or even death due to a choking incident in a nursing home, you should suspect nursing home neglect.
If a nursing home knows that a resident has swallowing issues and leaves them unsupervised during a meal, resulting in serious choking injuries or death, the nursing home employees acted negligently in their duty of care toward that patient. A lack of training or experience regarding how to monitor and assist nursing home residents while they eat may also lead to choking or suffocation injuries.
If your elderly loved one suffered from a choking incident or death when they should have received greater monitoring, contact a Riverside choking lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you obtain justice for your elderly loved one.
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Contact a Riverside Choking Lawyer
Tragic accidents do happen; however, no elderly resident of a nursing home should suffer from a serious choking injury or death related to choking. Injuries related to choking are serious, and suffocating to death from choking creates horrible trauma for the family. If your elderly loved one suffered a choking incident at their nursing home, you should report the neglect immediately to the nursing home management. You can also consider a Riverside choking lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Call to speak about your potential nursing home abuse or neglect case.