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Was Your Family Member’s Fall a Result of Nursing Home Negligence?

Posted on in Nursing Home Neglect


Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer SpringfieldNursing home residents often need assistance with everything from taking medication to showering. Residents trust nursing home staff to adequately tend to their needs and ensure a safe living environment. Sadly, many nursing homes fall short of this expectation.

One of the most pressing concerns for elderly and disabled nursing home residents is falling.  Falls can be attributed to muscle weakness, osteoporosis, vision problems, walking difficulties, poor balance, as well as other medical conditions that can contribute to the risk of falls. If your parent, grandparent, or other loved one suffered a preventable fall accident in a nursing home, you may have a valid nursing home negligence case.

Lack of Supervision and Assistance

Understaffing is a known issue in nursing homes across the country. Many nursing homes and other long-term care facilities simply cannot find and retain adequate employees. When staff is spread too thin, nursing home residents may not be properly supervised. This is especially dangerous for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. A resident who is not aware of his or her physical limitations may fall when trying to move around the facility without a walker, wheelchair, or assistance from a staff member.

Environmental Hazards in a Nursing Home

Another contributing factor to many nursing home falls is slip and fall or trip and fall hazards in the facility. Resident rooms, hallways, and common areas should be kept free of hazards that could cause a fall accident. Some environmental hazards that can lead to preventable falls in a nursing home include:

  • Loose oxygen tanks and other medical equipment

  • Spilled liquids

  • Loose rugs

  • Torn carpeting

  • Electrical cords

  • Dropped objects

  • Trash

Overmedicating Nursing Home Residents

Another huge concern with nursing home residents is overmedication. The Human Rights Watch reports that over 179,000 nursing home residents receive antipsychotic medication even though they do not have a medical condition, such as bipolar disorder, that requires medication every week. Many nursing homes use medications like these to make residents quieter, more docile, and less likely to wander. However, using medication as a “chemical restraint” to sedate residents violates Illinois and federal law.  Sedating medication can also lead to dizziness, disorientation, and fatigue – all of which can increase the risk of falling.

Contact a Peoria Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

If your loved one was injured or died in a fall accident in a nursing home, contact a Springfield nursing home injury lawyer at Kanoski Bresney to learn about your legal rights. You may be able to hold the negligent facility accountable through a nursing home negligence claim and recover compensation for damages. Call 888-826-8682 to learn more.

Sources:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/most-nursing-homes-are-not-adequately-staffed-new-federal-data-says

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/12/08/368524824/old-and-overmedicated-the-real-drug-problem-in-nursing-homes

 

https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20180424.962541/full/

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