If your loved one is considered a choking-risk resident in a nursing home, staff have a responsibility to ensure safety precautions are taken at mealtime. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and other nursing home staff should be adequately trained, according to all your loved one’s particular needs.Choking at mealtime is a serious risk for elderly people, especially those with formally diagnosed dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. If your elderly parent or spouse recently suffered injuries or passed away because of a choking incident, a Stickney choking lawyer can help. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.
Care Plans and Precautions in Nursing Homes
When a person needs 24-hour care, relocating your loved one to a nursing home is a reasonable alternative for most families in the United States. Regardless of whether the care is private or public, your loved one has the right to basic quality care and dignity under the law.
An older person’s care is assessed long before you will make the decision to enroll them in a nursing home, so care plans may be assembled by his or her team of medical experts. Any recommendations for care by a professional should be included in the care plan and matched with the right nursing home for that purpose, according to the Illinois Department of Health.
One basic assessment for care should include food, and a nursing home should ensure safe and quality meals for everyone depending on his or her needs. In essence, when you chose a nursing home for your loved one, you made sure that it fit his or her individual needs for care.
Nursing Home Care Reform Act
The Nursing Home Care Reform Act is a part of the 1987 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. The goal of the act is to “ensure that residents of nursing homes receive quality care that will result in their achieving or maintaining their ‘highest practicable’ physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being,” according to AARP.
This act established the requirement for a written contract between the nursing home and resident to ensure the exact conditions required for excellent care. The nursing home is legally bound by the contract and is obligated to fulfill its end of the deal by ensuring your loved one is thriving.
If your loved one’s contract or care plan stipulates that the nursing home must accommodate his or her need or potential need with mealtime assistance, the staff is legally bound by that duty. Unfortunately, nursing homes can be overstaffed, with a high patient-to-staff-member ratio. This paves the way for overworked CNAs, which can lead to more instances of choking.
Consider Your Legal Options After a Choking Incident
When your loved one chokes in a nursing home, you have legal options to defend his or her rights, and awards for pain and suffering caused. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is relatively short—generally two years. This means if you think you may have a legal case, you should act quickly for the best outcome.
- Personal injury due to negligence: If a nursing home employee left your loved one unattended at mealtime, or a nursing home staff member neglected to check food choices and feeding instruments at mealtime, you may have a personal injury case. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Illinois is two years.
- Medical malpractice: If your loved one choked due to the negligent assessment of a doctor, nurse, or other licensed medical professionals, you may have a medical malpractice case. This can include overprescribed medications that resulted in extra difficulty chewing or swallowing. The statute of limitations for this type is typically two years.
- Wrongful death: Death from complications of choking is not unusual for older people. The statute of limitations for wrongful death will vary but is usually two years from the date of the incident.
As you can see, this non-exhaustive list of legal claims for nursing home abuse and neglect has a short statute of limitations, with some burden of proof. A Stickney choking lawyer can help you determine which claim could best suit your needs. Begin your case evaluation with a free consultation when you call Pintas and Mullins Law Firm.
For a free legal consultation with a Choking Lawyer serving Stickney, call (800) 794-0444
Building a Case Against Elder Abuse and Neglect
You can build your case for blatant elder abuse and neglect when you stick to the facts of your loved one’s nursing home care plan. Our lawyers will communicate with medical health professionals to highlight all potential instances of neglect.
If your loved one had a degenerative disease like Parkinson’s, a history of stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and more, common medical knowledge is that your loved one was at a higher risk for difficulty chewing and swallowing food.
Of course, another way to build your case is to show your involvement with your loved one’s care plan and activities at the nursing home. Record any dates and document conversations you might have had with staff in order to ensure that your loved one received appropriate care.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
To report elder abuse, you can begin by calling the Stickney Township Office on Aging at (708) 636-8850 or the Adult Protective Services Hotline at 1-866-800-1409. Having a record of reported calls to the Adult Protective Services will bolster your case for nursing home neglect if no appropriate response was made to your calls.
Our Stickney choking lawyers understand the hurdles of working through legal battles with nursing homes, and we will work ease the burden of the litigation process. Let us know when you are ready to begin working on your case.
Stickney Choking Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Our Lawyers Understand Nursing Home Abuse Laws
Nursing home abuse laws are stricter than ever, but they are still broken repeatedly. The only way to ensure better care for older people in our community is to hold nursing homes accountable for abuse and neglect. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm understands the ins and outs of nursing home laws, and our Stickney choking lawyers are eager to defend your rights today.