Nursing home negligence ranges from pressures sores (also known as bedsores, pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers), falls, overdoses of medication, dehydration and malnutrition, sexual assault, and physical and chemical restraints. Elderly residents of a nursing home are at risk of injury that can result from lack of care, negligence, and poor nutrition. When these occur, a nursing home neglect lawyer should be contacted to recover damages on behalf of those injured and hold the negligent parties responsible. The experienced malpractice attorneys with our firm can assist in guiding you through the legal process and ensure you know what to expect.

Risk of Injuries from Nursing Home Abuse

In most cases, a nursing home resident is either unable to care for themselves and may not be mentally able to advocate for his or her rights. Some nursing home residents suffer from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or have other forms of dementia and they have virtually no ability to alert the nurse manager or other authority at the nursing home. This is why it is important to contact a nursing home abuse neglect lawyer.

Importance of Skin Assessment

Unlike most medical malpractice cases, nursing homes have clear policies and procedures for virtually every situation. For example, upon admission to the nursing home, every resident must be assessed for their risk of developing pressure sores. If the resident is classified as “high risk” for pressure sores, the nursing home must follow a written protocol that sets forth clear rules as to the treatment that must be given, including daily skin inspections during each nursing shift. In many cases, patients at risk for pressure sores must be turned and positioned at least once every two hours. Such treatment protocols are set forth in the Comprehensive Care Plan that every nursing home must have.

What is the Most Common Nursing Home Accident?

The most common injury in a nursing home that nursing home neglect lawyers can assist with? Falls. On average, a resident of a nursing home falls 2.6 times each year and 10% to 20% of all falls result in serious injuries that require hospitalization and surgery. Nursing home residents are generally at much greater risk of falling since they sometimes frail with impaired ability to walk and often have a prior history of falling. A family member’s whose loved one has fallen should speak with a nursing home abuse attorney.

Preventing Nursing Home Falls

In cases where a resident is classified as being “high risk” for falling, the Comprehensive Care Plan will have clear rules that must be followed to prevent a fall. For example, such residents should not be left alone in their room in the middle of the day. While residents cannot be physically or chemically restrained, they should be placed in an area, such as in front of the nurse’s station, where someone will see if they try to get up from their wheelchair. There are additional precautions that are followed for the resident’s bed, such as mattresses on the floor on each side of the bed, bed alarms that are activated if the resident leaves the bed, and lowering of the bed to just above the level of the floor. Such precautions minimize the chance of a fall and if a fall occurs, the extent of the injury is less significant.

Caring For Your Loved One

To lower expenses and raise profits, many nursing homes replace registered nurses with LPNs, certified nurses aides and unlicensed workers. You have the right to know who is caring for your loved one. The law requires the nursing home to disclose the staffing and the ratios of nurses to LPNs and CNAs. Get the details about your nursing home’s staffing in order to pick the right environment for your family member.

Importance of a Care Plan

As a nursing home abuse lawyer can tell you, the Comprehensive Care Plan is the most important document kept by a nursing home. The Care Plan lists all interventions that are specific to each resident and it is amended as there are changes to the needs of the resident. If you or a family member are injured in a nursing home, the Care Plan will have the answers that you need.

The quarterly Care Plan Meeting gives you the chance to make sure that the needs of your loved one are addressed by the staff members of the nursing home. Make sure you attend the Care Plan Meetings and stand up for the rights of your family member.

What is the Risk of Malnutrition and Unintended Weight Loss?

An unintended weight loss, or malnutrition, can lead to muscle atrophy, infection and disease complications. A nutritional assessment is the first step to finding the cause of the unintended weight loss. Medical conditions and psychological issues may be at the root of the unintended weight loss. You need to take a multi-disciplinary approach to finding the cause of your loved one’s unintended weight loss.

Learn How a Nursing Home Neglect Attorney Can Help

To hold the negligent party responsible for the damage they have caused, seek the assistance of a nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible.