Eating food should be a rather uncomplicated process, but for the elderly, it may require assistance. Older individuals may need supervision while eating and drinking, which should be provided in nursing homes and similar facilities. One family lost their loved one due to a choking incident that occurred in a nursing home. The family filed a lawsuit in Cook County against Niles Nursing & Rehab Center alleging negligence led to the choking death of their loved one. The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $50,000 and is requesting a trial by jury.
Choking in Nursing Homes
Choking is a very serious problem that can happen to some elderly people living in nursing homes. Choking can happen when a person is not able to adequately chew their food or when they cannot swallow properly. Some people may have difficulty because of problems with their teeth or dentures. Older individuals need help while they eat. In this case, the woman was apparently not properly supervised while eating and choked. The woman died from asphyxiation caused by choking on food. This death should have been prevented had the nursing home supervised the woman while she ate.
Special Dietary Needs
Some older individuals have special dietary needs that will help to prevent choking. A soft diet is sometimes necessary in cases where choking is a concern. Those who are not able to cut their food require help from someone who will cut their food while they eat. Older individuals at risk of choking should always be fully supervised while eating. Nursing homes need to hire enough staff to assist people with their meals if they require it. Assistance was not provided in this case, and the woman died as a result.
The failure to provide proper supervision while eating may be considered negligence. The nursing home must assist residents with all of their needs. When they fail to do so and a resident is seriously hurt or dies as a result, the nursing home is responsible. Nursing homes must evaluate the needs of every resident, and these needs may change as the resident ages. While not every elderly person requires the same amount of care, the nursing home must offer care to those who require it.
Problems in Nursing Homes
There may be a number of reasons why nursing homes provide less than adequate care. A nursing home may be understaffed, so there are not enough employees to help residents when they need assistance. The staff may not be properly trained. Nursing home staff has a high turnover rate and it can be difficult to instruct employees about the care that must be provided. The nursing home management may not be sufficient, so there may not be procedures in place or the rules may not be enforced. These issues can all lead to a lack of supervision and assistance to patients who require it. The victim’s relatives should seek justice for the death of their loved one. If someone you love suffered a serious injury or died because of nursing home neglect, call the experienced legal team at Levin & Perconti for a consultation.
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