The Jamestown Sun reported this week on new nursing home lawsuit that alleges that senior caregivers are responsible for the tragic fall of an elderly woman that ultimately took her life. According to court documents the son of the victim has filed suit against the nursing home and transportation company that he claims were involved in his mother’s passing.
The suit alleges that the victim was an elderly woman who fell onto the sidewalk outside of her assisted living facility as a result of nursing home neglect and carelessness. The accident took place a few days before Christmas in 2008, and the woman ultimately died from the complications that developed from the fall eight days later, on December 28th. The woman was only sixty seven years old at the time of her passing. She was an amputee and was confined to a wheelchair. She had left the facility on the day in question to go play bingo at the local veteran’s club. To reach the club she used a bus service that provides a “Dial-A-Ride” program that is popular with seniors.
Unfortunately, as she was arriving back at the facility after her bingo game, the woman fell on the sidewalk. Upon falling, the senior suffered a fractured hip, which developed into complications that ultimately took her life. According to the complaint, the facility had failed to clear snow and ice that had built up on the sidewalk in front of the nursing home. It is further claimed that the transportation company employees were negligent in failing to provide adequate assistance to ensure that the woman arrived at her destination safely.
Unfortunately, any Chicago nursing home neglect lawyer who has worked in this area long enough knows that complications from hip fractures are one of the leading causes of death after a nursing home fall. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one out of every five hip fracture patients pass away within a year after their injury. This is a sobering statistics that indicates the scope of the danger posed by these falls. Considering that hip fractures are likely the single most common injury sustained by those who fall at a nursing home, it is absolutely incumbent upon staff members to do everything in their power to prevent these falls. Many facilities report 100-200 falls each year, though the CDC explains that many falls go unreported. This makes it difficult to get a clear grasp on how widespread the problem actually is.
Illinois nursing home law expects that these extended care facilities will properly evaluate each resident that enters a home to assess their fall risk. After so doing, they are required to enact a reasonable plan in conjunction with the senior and their family to prevent injuries that may be caused by a fall. If you know of caregivers at local facilities that have failed in this duty, it is important to contact professional legal help to hold them accountable. Keeping silent only allows misconduct and inadequate care to continue, placing other vulnerable seniors at risk.
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