If you placed your elderly loved one in a nursing home, it was likely because you wanted them to receive excellent care and remain safe. While this is never an easy decision to make for a family, knowing that your loved one will have 24-hour monitoring helps ensure that you made the right decision on their behalf.
If your elderly loved one fell and suffered serious injuries or passed away, you may wonder if the nursing home’s negligence and low standard of care are ultimately responsible for your elderly loved one’s suffering. If you suspect that the nursing home of your elderly loved one is negligent or abusive, contact a Riverside Falls lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you determine your elderly loved one’s legal rights.
Standard of Care and Falls in Nursing Homes
All nursing homes have a legal responsibility to ensure that their residents remain safe. There are several grounds required that establish a standard of care under the law. Understanding what these standards of care are can help you determine if your elderly loved one’s nursing home failed to meet these standards which resulted in your loved one’s fall.
All nursing home facilities must have sufficient staff to ensure all residents have their needs met. If a resident needs assistance to go to the restroom, a staff member should be available immediately to help them. Otherwise, a resident could attempt to get out of their bed or wheelchair and fall, leading to severe injuries.
Your Loved One’s Personal Care Plan
Every resident should have their own personal care plan established when they enter the facility and it should be continuously updated. In many cases, certain residents have a greater risk of falling due to a lack of mobility issues or because of certain medications. If the nursing home does not create an accurate personal care plan or fails to follow the personal care plan created, they could remain liable for any falls that occur in the nursing home.
Every nursing home resident has different needs and requirements. Some nursing home residents may be either wheelchair-bound or bedridden. In these cases, certain assisting equipment must exist to help residents as necessary. Additionally, for those residents that are unable to move to the restroom or other parts of the facility with ease, certain warnings should sound if a resident attempts to leave their bed. These residents should receive special accommodations and attention to ensure that they do not fall. If assistance is not provided as required and a resident suffers serious injuries or even passes away from a fall, the nursing home may be held responsible.
Nutrition and Hydration
Some residents need assistance in moving themselves to the dining room. If a resident attempts to walk to the dining room alone and falls, responsibility for those injuries may rest with the nursing home. Additionally, nursing home residents should receive proper hydration and nutrition so that they are physically strong. Without proper hydration and nutrition, an already frail and weak elderly person may not ever completely recover from a serious fall.
In some cases, medications may cause some elderly residents to be dizzier than normal, which can result in falls. In other cases, failing to provide appropriate medications to elderly residents may make them drowsy or dizzy, which also may increase the risk of falling. In other cases, medical conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease actually contribute to the likelihood of falls due to dizziness and confusion. Nursing homes have a responsibility to ensure that all of the medications provided to residents are correctly given in a timely manner, and in the correct dosages. All medications that have an association with dizziness or drowsiness should receive notations on a resident’s personal care plan, and those residents should receive additional assistance so that falls do not occur.
Medical Complications Resulting From Falls
While many reasons can cause a fall to occur in a nursing home, often the lack of supervision or monitoring of an elderly resident is the primary reason a resident falls and suffers serious injuries or even passes away. Falls that would not affect a normal healthy adult can have devastating consequences for an elderly resident of a nursing home.
Falls can completely strip a resident of any remaining mobility they may have and force them to be bedridden or in a wheelchair for the remainder of their life. This loss of independence may lead to anxiety and severe depression. If the injury is not severe enough to require a complete lack of mobility, the weakening of the body after a fall may make the resident prone to additional falls in the future. Many elderly residents that fall in a nursing home must ultimately undergo complicated and serious surgeries, which also have risks of medical complications that may result in death.
Even if a senior resident does survive the fall and any surgery required, in many cases, they must undergo long and painful physical therapy in order to heal properly. The recovery time for seniors is much greater than that of a normal, healthy adult. Finally, lower mobility results in a senior’s higher risk of contracting pneumonia, bedsores, infections, and other medical complications. In a horrific outcome, the elderly resident remains relegated to a life of chronic pain and suffering. In the worst-case scenario, your elderly loved one passes away due to their fall.
For a free legal consultation with a Falls Lawyer serving Riverside, call (800) 794-0444
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
Accidents happen. However, the entire reason that family members place their elderly loved ones in a nursing home is to ensure their safety and care that they cannot provide throughout each day. If you suspect that your elderly loved one suffered abuse or neglect that led to a fall with serious injuries or death, you may be able to file a claim against the facility. A Riverside Falls lawyer may be able to assist you. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.