HOW SERIOUS ARE NURSING HOME INJURIES?
Injuries at nursing homes are a very big problem. Elderly who live in nursing homes become injured at a rate much higher than the general elderly population. One reason for this is because the nursing home population is overall older, more likely to be ill, and more physically frail than the general elderly population, but this population difference does not completely explain the huge difference in the incidence of injury. Here are some important facts about nursing home injuries:
- In a single year, 25% of nursing homes are cited for causing death or serious injury.
- At least 5,000 deaths each year are due to nursing home injuries and negligence.
- 10% of nursing home residents suffer from bed sores.
- Nursing home residents fall at twice the rate of other elderly populations.
Never ignore any sign of an elder abuse or neglect that may lead into a more serious situation or even a wrongful death.
Here’s a news from way back 2013 that I hope you might want to take a time to watch and remember, this could happen to your loved one.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON WARNING SIGNS OF NURSING HOME ABUSE OR NEGLECT?
Some common warning signs of abuse or neglect in nursing homes include but are not limited to the following:
- Sudden and severe weight loss, or other signs of malnourishment.
- Bed sores vary in severity, and often initially appear as persistent red areas on the skin. If left untreated, these sores can become so deep that they reach the muscle, bone or tendon. The elderly have a higher risk of developing bed sores due to thin skin, malnutrition, and poor circulation. This type of neglect is preventable, but healing becomes more difficult if the sores are left untreated.
- Frequent bruising, cuts or open wounds.
- Unexplained fractures or broken bones.
- Over-medication, which is characterized by symptoms of lethargy, permanent involuntary muscle movements, seizures, and even sudden death.
Via – Nursing Home Injuries
Leaving your loved ones in a nursing home means we entrusted our trust and well-being to the nursing aides and hoped they would honor and respect that trust but some wrongful acts are inevitable. So before doing so, you might want to know your loved ones’ rights that you may act on it when you find them deprived of it.
WHAT ARE THE ELDERLY RESIDENTS’ BILL OF RIGHTS?
Here’s A Nursing Home Reform Act established in 1987 citing the rights for nursing home residents:
- The right to freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect;
- The right to freedom from physical restraints;
- The right to privacy;
- The right to accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs;
- The right to participate in resident and family groups;
- The right to be treated with dignity;
- The right to exercise self-determination;
- The right to communicate freely;
- The right to participate in the review of one’s care plan, and to be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in the facility; and
- The right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal.
Common Types of Nursing Home Injuries
There are 3 common nursing home injuries that you may find disturbing. You have to identify them and eventually ask your lawyer on how to deal with the issue.
1 – Falls
The CDC also reports that every year, nearly three-quarters of nursing home residents fall. Often patients fall more than once per year. Falls cause about 1,800 deaths among nursing home residents yearly.
Older people, in general, are prone to falls due to muscle weakness or gait problems. However, environmental causes including wet floors, poor lighting, incorrect bed height, and improperly fitted wheelchairs can also increase risks of falls.
2 – Bedsores
Bedsores, more formally known as pressure ulcers, develop when a patient remains in one position for too long, putting prolonged pressure on their skin. These sores occur most often on heels, ankles, hips, and tailbones.
Elderly patients who are unable to move on their own often require frequent help turning over or shifting positions to alleviate pressure. If your loved one is developing bed sores, it may be a sign that the nursing staff is neglecting its duties or not providing the appropriate level of care.
3 – Overdose or Improper Medication
Many elderly nursing home residents require multiple medications. Now, multiply this with ten, twenty, or a hundred residents, and it’s easy to see how inexperienced or busy caregivers could cause an overdose or give the wrong medication to the wrong patient.
Additional Resources that you might find useful in identifying Nursing Home Neglects and Injuries.
- 47,000 Older Adults Treated in Emergency Departments Annually for Fall Injuries Related to Walkers and Canes (CDC.gov)
- Falls – Older Adults (CDC.gov)
- Slip and Fall Accidents (FindLaw)
- Elder Law Information Center (provided by Chayet & Danzo, LLC)
- Nursing Home Injuries and the Law (provided by Dollar, Burns & Becker L.C.)
If you find any indication of a nursing home neglect and injury, don’t think twice! Contact a nursing home abuse attorney and consult the issue before it’s too late.