Nursing home residents are confronted with numerous safety issues while living in the facility. Although some accidents seem almost inevitable because nursing homes house mostly older people, there are ways to be proactive. Nursing home staff should have safety measures in place to deal with obvious problems, so that they can mitigate injuries and lessen the impact. If you have a loved one who is a nursing home resident, you will want to recognize their vulnerability and how you can help them. Read on to learn about top three safety issues facing nursing home residents.
- Falls: This is one of the biggest concerns for nursing home residents. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because many individuals realize that falls are one of the main causes of fatalities for seniors. Ironically, getting help with moving around (to shower and bath, for instance) is one of the reasons that people move into nursing homes; they want to reduce the risk of falling. However, falls can still occur in nursing homes, due to negligent staff or poor design of the facility. Here are some things that you can check to see if the nursing home staff is doing their best to help prevent trips and falls:
- Does the staff help the residents stay physically active, so they are less likely to fall?
- See that there is good lighting in living areas because poor lighting can contribute to residents tripping.
- Obstructed walkways are hazardous to residents, especially if they need a walker or cane to move about. Check to see that residents have a clear path to the rest room, dining hall, and other common areas.
- Take notice of the types of chairs in the facility. Because the residents may have difficulty getting up from a seated position, chairs without arm rests pose a great risk for falls.
- Check the condition of the flooring: If the carpets are in disarray, it can lead to an increase in falls.
- Abuse and Neglect: Unfortunately, abuse and neglect pose a serious threat to nursing home residents. Nursing home abuse can be emotional, psychological, physical, sexual or even financial from other residents or more likely, staff members. Your loved one can display warning signs of abuse. Look for the following:
- Mood swings
- Unexplained injuries, like cuts, bruises, or scratches
- Frequent illnesses or STDs
- Poor hygiene
- Change in personality
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Medication Errors: Many nursing home residents rely on medication to help them maintain their healthy lives. And the more medication that they take, the higher the risk of a dangerous overdose or a negative interaction between drug types. A resident can be harmed when the staff improperly prepares the medication or when they fail to give them their medicine at all. To help keep your loved one safe, you should be aware of their medication list and check in with the nursing staff at the facility about protocols.
Keep your Loved One Safe in their Nursing Home
When your family member moves out of their home, you must look out for them because of the safety issues that they may encounter in the nursing home. Even when you try to avoid these risks, they may still be in danger. If you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated in their nursing home, don’t be their only advocate. Get reinforcement with help from an experienced nursing home attorney. Get in touch with one of Walton Law’s skilled attorneys who will explore all legal options available. Contact us immediately for assistance and further information.