Nursing homes are supposed to provide a safe and healthy environment for seniors who can no longer live on their own. Unfortunately, while many nursing homes do care for residents, each year residents at some nursing homes are seriously or even fatally injured due to preventable accidents. When this happens, criminal charges or civil claims can be filed.
These are the most common injuries which can affect loved ones in nursing homes:
- Slip and fall accidents. These can cause broken bones, head injuries, broken bones, lacerations, and sprains. They are most often caused by uneven flooring, spills, poor lighting, or lack of adequate supervision for residents who need extra help.
- Overmedication. Some nursing homes have been accused of overmedicating residents to encourage napping and to reduce pressure on staff. This can be dangerous, since it means seniors are getting excessive medication, and it can impact quality of life, too.
- Medication errors. When residents get the wrong doses, the wrong medication, or are give medication at the wrong time, serious health complications can result.
- Bedsores. Also known as pressure ulcers, these injuries happen when residents are sitting down or laying down for long periods of time without moving or being moved. Bedsores can become infected and can be life-threatening for seniors who are already ill.
- Malnutrition and dehydration. This type of negligence happens when residents don’t get enough to drink or eat. This can lead to weakness, dizziness, and serious health problems.
- Emotional abuse. Emotional abuse can include shouting at residents, name calling, or saying cruel things. It can cause depression and trauma for residents who are affected.
- Physical abuse. This occurs when residents are struck, pushed, or otherwise intentionally hurt by staff. Physical abuse can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities.
- Neglect. This can happen with understaffing, where residents aren’t given the care they need. Neglect can take many forms, including lack of hygiene or residents not getting help with daily activities.
- Falls from beds and chairs. Sitting up or standing up from a chair or bed can temporarily affect blood pressure, which can cause vulnerable residents to get dizzy and fall. Proper supervision and help can prevent falls and the resulting fractures, head injuries, and other injuries.
- Infections. Nursing homes should have infection control practices to make sure residents don’t have a high risk of urinary tract infections, pneumonia, flu, COVID, sepsis, and other infections.
- Wandering. Residents of nursing homes need extra supervision when they have cognitive impairment. When they can leave the facility without permission they can get lost or sustain a serious injury.
- Lack of correct treatment. Residents of nursing homes may have complex health care needs and when they don’t get the right treatment for their condition, their health can dramatically deteriorate.
- Broken bones. For residents living with osteoporosis, especially, any physical abuse or any falls can lead to serious fractures.
- Choking. Some age-related medical conditions can make it difficult for residents to swallow, so they may choke on food or other objects.
If your loved one has been injured in a nursing home, you’ll want to get medical help for them and may want to contact the authorities. Another thing you can do is call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 or contact us online. In our offices in Homestead, Hollywood, or Miami, or in your home or workplace, we can hold a consultation to review whether you may have a claim against the nursing home. If you do, you may be able to seek compensation for medical costs and other expenses, so you can provide your family member with a higher level of care.