Nursing Home Injury
If you have placed or considering placing your loved one in a nursing home then you need to read the rest of this article. There are over 15,000 nursing homes in the United States right now with over 1.7 million licensed beds. These facilities are intended to provide high quality care to our seniors and elderly; however, as is often the case, our elders care is diminished by understaffing and other attempts to optimize profits. Of the 1.6 million estimated residents of nursing facilities in the United States approximately half of them will fall each year, and a third of those will fall more than once.
A Nursing Home Injury is any physical harm or injury an elderly individual sustains while a resident of a long term car facility or nursing home. These injuries often have catastrophic results because our bodies don't heal as well as we age.
Top Five Nursing Home Injuries
Signs of a bad Nursing Home
Everyone wants to be sure that they are putting their family member into a safe and well run nursing home. To make sure you do that, be on the look out for these signs of a bad nursing home.
One of the primary causes of injuries in nursing home facilities is understaffing. This can be the result of the company wanting to maximize profits or the result of high turn over rates. So the first think to be looking for is the number of nursing staff you see when you visit the facility. Ask questions about how many residents they have and how many nurses are on each shift. If the ratio of residents to nurses is way off then that would be a facility to avoid.
Next, talk to the staff about how long they have been there and their experience. Staff in these facilities will often reveal as much in what they say as what they don't say. If none of the staff have been at the facility very long that might be a red flag. It is unlikely that they will talk badly about their employer, but if they don't have anything good to say I would keep that in mind.
Finally, check the reviews of the facility and if it is a franchise of a larger organization then check them out as well. Ask around for opinions of the facility on social media. Reach out to people that you know working at the local hospitals and ask if they know much about the facility. If the general impression you get is not good then it may be time to look for another place. All businesses will have some bad reviews, but if the overwhelming data suggests it isn't a safe facility then you should trust those reviews.
Example of neglect in Nursing Homes
While there are a large variety of possible neglect that can result in harm to the seniors residing in a nursing home I will go over a few examples. Pressure sores or Bed Sores are one of the most common injuries we see caused by nursing home neglect. These sores result from the failure to reposition a patient often enough. Sometimes because the patient is not repositioned at all and sometimes because the facility is not keeping track of what positions the patient has been in recently which results in the patient being moved back to the same position too soon. Either way it happens, it is an easily avoidable situation with some basic care and attention.
Another example is dehydration, while a less common form of nursing home neglect these cases do happen. If the facility is not tracking the fluid intake of a patient or the fluid expulsion then the patient could potentially go hours or even days with minimal liquids. This is an obvious and abject failure of the nursing facility to care for a patient.
What to bring to a Nursing Home Consultation
If you believe your loved one has suffered a nursing home related injury and that it was due to neglect or abuse contact Nelson Johnson for a free consultation. Here is what you need to bring to that consultation, go ahead and get copies of the nursing home records, request copies of any hospital records related to the injury, and bring a copy of the nursing facilities contract that was signed when your family member entered the facility. We will review all of those documents and consult an expert in the field of nursing homes to evaluate the case.