Nursing Home Resident Breaks Neck in Fall, Facility Privatization May Have Been Involved

M News Live published a tragic tale this week about a nursing home neglect lawsuit recently filed after a resident broke his neck. According to the report, in mid-September of this year the senior was sitting on the edge of his bed at the nursing home for veterans where he lived. The senior is ninety years old and he suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the man has a poor sense of balance which make is imperative that he not be left alone in any circumstance what a fall might occur. Our Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers know these mental struggles and balance issues are common among seniors, and so caregivers at these facilities should be well-prepared to ensure proper safety steps are taken to prevent accidents.

Unfortunately, in this case that proper care was not provided.

A nurse at the facility did not make sure that the man was safe from a fall. Instead, she intentionally set him up on the side of the bed, and then she left the room in order to get a lift to move him into his wheelchair. By the time the nurse returned to the room, the man had fallen. The careworker found the senior on the floor. His neck had been broken in the short tumble off of the bed. In the aftermath of the accident, the man’s family has filed a nursing home neglect suit, alleging that the facility staff should not have allowed the fall to occur. Each Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer at our firm has worked on many cases where falls like this one have occurred. Considering the frail condition of many seniors, even simple falls can have very serious consequences-from a broken neck to death.

After news of this accident in the veteran’s home, many advocates explained that the root cause of the problem may be the recent privatization of the facility. The home has previously been run entirely by public bodies. However, in order to save money many funds were cut from the home for veterans. In addition, portions of the operation were outsourced to private groups. For example, the nurse who left this senior on the bed was hired by private companies.

In fact, recently a dispute between the public employees who previously worked at the home and state officials led to the firing of at least a dozen union employees at the home. Public officials also announced that the facility would be downsized, with 90 beds cuts from the operation. The cuts were deemed necessary by state officials who say they are forced to cut $4.2 million from the operation. State officials claim that switching from state employees to private contract employees can save $18,000 a day in operating costs.

However, many elder care advocates argue that the quality of care is clearly diminished with the switch to contract workers. Some residents at this particularly facility explained that unionized nurses, more comfortable in the long-term security of their position, get to know each resident better. Conversely, contract caregivers often come and go, with less familiarity with each resident’s unique needs.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Alzheimer’s Patient Dies in Nursing Home Fall

Nursing Home Lawsuit Alleges Negligence Lead to Resident Fall

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