When an elderly individual starts to experience accidental injuries, such as bruises, cuts, or broken bones, their families often opt to move them to a nursing home so that they can receive proper and attentive care. Unfortunately, placing a loved one in a long-term care facility does not always mean they are safe from injury. While accidents can still happen, abuse and neglect also play a significant role in nursing home injuries. The following addresses some of the most common physical dangers residents face while living at a nursing home.
Four Frequent Injuries Resulting From Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
1. ) Bedsores
When a patient remains in one position for an extended amount of time, they may develop bedsores. Bedsores are most often seen in a patient’s ankles, elbows, tailbone, and hips. When nursing home residents are not capable of moving on their own, it is the staff’s responsibility to assist in rotating or shifting the patient’s position on a regular basis. When staff neglect this duty, the sores can become severely infected and have life-threatening effects.
2. ) Falls
Falls can lead to severe injuries and are one of the leading causes of injury-related fatalities for the senior community. It is the responsibility of the nursing home and its staff to ensure that handrails and properly lowered furniture are available in each room. They must also make sure to address other environmental issues such as unsecured carpets or wires.
3. ) Medication Errors
It is not uncommon for nursing home residents to require medications on a daily basis. However, in recent years it has come to light how much of an issue over-medicating patients has become. When patients are difficult to deal with, unethical staff members may over-medicate them or give them the wrong type of medicine in order to sedate them. Administering a patient with too little, too much, or the incorrect kind of drug can exacerbate the individual’s illness and have potentially fatal consequences. A medication error may include failing to monitor the patient after administering the drug, administering expired medications, administering the wrong dosage of medication, or discontinuing a medication.
4.) Dehydration or Malnutrition
Unfortunately, when nursing homes are understaffed, the likelihood of residents becoming dehydrated or malnourished increases greatly. Dehydration can lead to seizures, kidney failure, and electrolyte imbalances. Malnutrition is often associated with broken bones, anemia, tooth decay, and low blood pressure. Signs that a patient may be suffering from dehydration or malnutrition include depression, functional and cognitive impairment, and difficulty swallowing.
Contact Our Kane County Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Physical abuse suffered at the hands of caregivers can be traumatic and result in worsened conditions, permanent disability, and fatalities. It is important to note that physical abuse is only one type of abuse occurring in nursing homes. Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect may also suffer from emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse.
If you believe your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect while residing at a nursing home, the loved one may be eligible for compensatory damages. An experienced Aurora, IL nursing home abuse attorney can advocate for your loved one’s rights and help to hold the abusive or neglectful parties accountable for their actions. For a free consultation, contact Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. today by calling 630-907-0909.