Many residents in nursing homes lack the mobility, balance and strength to safely walk or move about the facility. Accordingly, it’s important that nursing home employees and caregivers properly monitor residents so that they don’t fall. Unfortunately, in most modern nursing homes, where profits are valued more than the quality of care, the kind of monitoring necessary to avoid injury simply doesn’t take place. Most nursing homes are under-staffed, and a large percentage of nursing home workers lack the necessary skills or training to ensure a safe environment for residents.
One of the biggest risks for a nursing home resident is injury in a fall, whether from a bed or while trying to cross a room or walk down a hall. Under Medicare rules, when a person is admitted to a nursing home facility, the nursing home is required to conduct an assessment to determine their potential fall risk. Many facilities simply don’t perform this assessment or they fail to conduct it properly. As such, they have no idea of the potential for injury in a fall.
Many other nursing homes know of potential fall risks, but fail to take appropriate precautions to minimize the risk. Alarms are available that can be placed on a patient’s bed, indicating risk of a fall. Many nursing homes have slippery linoleum or tile floors, and could reduce the risk of falls simply by installing mats or by providing residents with non-slip socks.
Studies also show that nursing homes seldom engage in patient or family education, helping residents take the initiative to minimize the risk of injury.
When you are looking for an attorney to help you hold a nursing home facility accountable for injuries suffered by a loved one, it’s extremely important that you retain someone with extensive and recent experience handling these types of claims. Nursing home neglect and abuse claims involve working with a complex set of state and federal regulations, including Medicaid and Medicare issues. A personal injury lawyer without meaning experience handling nursing home abuse claims will likely lack the knowledge and experience to fully protect your interests.