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Nursing Home Neglect Case After Fall During Lift Into Bed

The Courier-Journal published a story earlier this month on the end of a nursing home neglect case filed against a nursing home following a deadly fall. According to arguments made by the nursing home neglect attorneys involved, staff members at the defendant-home were negligent when they tried to transfer the senior from a chair into his bed.

The lawyers explain that the man had severe osteoporosis. Only one nurse was trying to use a lift to move the man. The nursing home care plan actually called for two aides to be involved in the process at all times. The resident fell onto the floor during the move-breaking both of his legs. However, nothing was done about the broken legs and he was instead placed back into bed. Because the man had suffered a stroke, he was unable to communicate with those around him to explain the severe pain that he was in. It wasn’t until two weeks later that his broken bones were discovered. He ultimately died two months after the fall. A jury deliberated for two hours before returning verdict for the family.

Falls in nursing home are perhaps the most common situations that residents are hurt in ways that could have been prevented. Our Illinois nursing home abuse attorneys have come to learn that these falls occur in two common ways. Both types of falls are a sign of negligence, and it is vital that facilities be held accountable when they allow these incidents to occur.

First, sometimes residents fall because they are not properly supervised. Upon admission to a facility a resident should be assessed for their fall risks. Based upon the senior’s health, strength, medical history, mental conditions, and other factors, caregivers should be clear in understanding the chance that the senior might suffer a dangerous fall. After the assessment is a made, a plan must be created to account for the risks and provide guidelines regarding how the senior should be observed and cared for so that those falls do not occur. In many cases, when a senior falls it is because the caregivers failed to abide by the protocols outlined upon the senior’s admission plan-leaving them alone for periods of time or in situations that present unnecessary dangers.

Second, the other common fall scenario does not involve elopement (the failure to properly monitor residents) but instead problems with resident transfers. That is what happened in the case discussed here. Many seniors need help moving from a bed to a wheelchair or while using the facilities. Many care plans call for at least two nursing home aides to help during many of these transfers. However, often due to low staffing, some caregivers try to get around this rule and transfer residents without the proper help or equipment. When this occurs residents often fall-leading to serious injury or even death. All nursing home attorneys will tell you that either type of fall is likely a sign of clear neglect. Our seniors deserve better, and caregivers must understand that allowing these incidents to occur results has consequences.

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