The overwhelming majority of residents in Illinois nursing homes have at least some degree of physical limitation. Some are unable to dress themselves or bathe themselves on a daily basis. Others struggle with their mobility and may need the assistance of a cane, walker, or wheelchair to ambulate around their facility. And yet others may experience decreased flexibility, strength, and balance that often comes with aging. Whatever the reason behind their issues, it is clear that these people need assistance.
Help with mobility and other issues is one reason that families make the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing home or other assisted care facility. And when that family member is placed, people feel reassured that he or she will receive the care that is deserved and needed by employees who are dedicated to providing that service. Tragically, though, every year there are countless incidents across the nation involving a nursing home patient who has fallen or been dropped with many of these causing injuries.
Statistics continue to bear out the grim truth that older Americans are more likely to fall than their younger counterparts and more likely to be injured if a fall occurs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 16,000 older adults die as a result of injuries sustained in falls each year, and many of those incidents happen right here in Illinois.
The damage done by a fall can be devastating and therefore it is critical that steps be taken to prevent as many falls as possible. In Chicago and across Illinois, the standard of care that exists in nursing homes and long term care facilities must be respected by employees who staff those homes and care must be provided to their residents.
In cases where a patient is to be lifted or transferred, it may be necessary for multiple employees to perform the maneuver or a lifting device may be required. Steps should be taken to limit the time that residents spend on their own and it may be necessary for a resident to be accompanied at all times when ambulating. Other residents may need to be supervised while utilizing the restroom or while moving between rooms.
The aforementioned are examples only and in practice, it depends upon the needs of a particular resident of a nursing home when fall-prevention steps are taken. But regardless of that resident’s needs, the nursing home, its employees, and its owners are required to address them in a safe and reasonable manner. Failing to do so can be a case of nursing home abuse or negligence that may cause an injury.
If someone you loved suffered from a fall while a patient in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or other long-term care setting, make sure you understand whether your loved one is entitled to seek financial compensation for his or her injuries. If you have questions about the rights granted by Illinois law, call the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us provide you with a case consultation.
There is no cost and no obligation on your part for taking advantage of our consultation and we can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575.
Prior Blog Entry:
Surveillance Cameras to be Legal in Illinois Nursing Homes Soon, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published August 24, 2015.