Elderly community members will enter into a nursing home for many reasons. In virtually all cases the residents and their families believe that the senior will be better off with the around the clock care that can be provided at the nursing home. In many cases a senior enters a facility after living alone. One of the dangers of living alone is the risk that no one will be around to prevent common household accidents like falls or to have immediate medical help when a fall occurs. In that way, it should be common practice for all local facilities to prevent each this type of accident like falls. When an Illinois nursing home fall does occur, it is often an indicator of nursing home neglect.
The consequences of these types of accidents are stark. Most seniors are not able to heal nearly as quickly as they did when they were younger. That means that even relatively minor falls can have life-altering effects. Sometimes these nursing home falls leads to immediate serious damage. In other cases, consequences slowly develop which can be traced back to an initial fall. For example, elderly residents are likely to suffer fractures after a fall which in turn places them at risk of immobility and increase their likelihood of developing pressure ulcers.
With these dangers, all area nursing homes have an obligation to assess the risks of each resident for falls. After that initial assessment, steps should be put in place to properly monitor those at-risk residents and take all reasonable steps to ensure that they remain safe. Some of those steps include the use of safe forms of bed rails, non-skid footwear, appropriate arm chair with locked wheels, walkers, and other forms of stability devices. The lives of residents often depend on these simple steps, and so it is unacceptable for any facility to fail to take these reasonable steps.
Unfortunately, failure to prevent these falls is a common form of Illinois nursing home neglect. Many seniors who fall suffer an injury known as a “hematoma” or bleeding on the brain. When this arises, there is a good chance that it was rooted in a fall. For example, we just saw that the Madison Record reported late last week on a new nursing home lawsuit against the University Nursing and Rehabilitation Center that was filed after a resident died of subdural hematoma. The complaint filed in that lawsuit alleges the facility with failing to provide the man with the reasonable care to prevent injury from arising. The details around the accident are not spelled out in the news report, however hematomas such as this are common in nursing home falls.
The victim in this latest lawsuit claims that facility caused the man’s death by failing to provide prudent care. The pleading states that as a result of the neglect the man experience severe pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish, and lost dignity. Our Chicago nursing home lawyers know that these forms of “non economic” damage are often included in suits of this type. These damages are pled in addition to those known as “economic damages” which include things like medical expenses.
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