Preventing Falls and Related Injuries in the Nursing Home Setting
By: Jared Reynolds – Founding Member, RM Law Group LLC
Nursing Home Abuse, Wrongful Death, and Personal Injury Attorney
As our family members age, sometimes their mental capacity makes it difficult for them to remember things, maintain meaningful conversation, or capably keep their health and best interests in mind.
In these instances, a family may end up trusting a nursing home or other senior living facility to look after their loved one and ensure that they are kept safe. To do so, this requires a facility to assess a new resident and put together an appropriate plan to ensure that the individual’s needs and specific risks are addressed.
When a loved one’s mental capacity makes them difficult to rely upon for their own safety, it is important for a nursing home to ensure that they increase the supervision of that resident, and put in place other interventions to attempt to keep them safe.
In the nursing home setting, there are tools, including increased supervision, that are available to help the staff keep a better eye on a resident, and attempt to prevent falls and other injuries from occurring. These tools also include having bed and chair alarms put in place, keeping residents in open areas such as by the nursing station and meal/activities rooms, and finally, increasing the scheduled rounds that allow staff visualize the residents.
Further, when our loved ones suffer from ailments such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, it is imperative that nursing staff attempt to anticipate their needs, including helping them to the bathroom on a scheduled basis, or keeping their possessions well within reach for them while in bed.
When our loved ones cannot be relied upon 100% of the time to have their own safety in mind, it is the job of the nursing staff to be prepared for worst case scenarios with each resident. These scenarios can include them getting out of bed unassisted to go to the bathroom, attempting to perform activities they need help with, or any other number of tasks that they may have been able to complete perfectly on their own in the past. Whether due to mental incapacities, or a reluctance to accept help from others, it is the nursing staff’s duty to ultimately keep our loved ones safe.
You as the family have the right to participate in the care and treatment of your loved one. If you have concerns, be sure to express them to not only the staff, but also the Director of Nursing or even the Administrator. Then, be sure to follow up to ensure that your concerns were addressed, and finally, if necessary, consult with an Attorney about your concerns.
If you or a loved one have questions or concerns about the care being provided to a loved one in a nursing home or similar setting, reach out to myself, Jared Reynolds, at JR@rmlawfirm.com, 312-508-3296, or fill out an intake form on our site at rmlawfirm.com, to arrange for a confidential, free consultation to discuss your concerns. No fees will ever be charged unless I am able to obtain a successful outcome for you.