Family members expect their loved ones to receive the proper medical care and personal support in a safe environment so that they can live well and comfortably in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Nursing home residents deserve to be treated compassionately and receive the best care. It is the responsibility of nursing home staff and management to ensure that each resident receives the care he or she needs.
The elderly are more prone to accidents than any other age group. In a nursing home, the risk of an accident is even higher. Watch for these common accidents at nursing homes to ensure the facility is doing all it can to keep its residents safe and healthy.
Poor Lighting in Hallways
One of the most common causes of accidents in a nursing home is poor lighting in hallways. The elderly are usually confined to wheelchairs or walkers, and if they have the added disadvantage of moving in low visibility, they could become disoriented or fall.
If the nursing home is dimly lit, it is a sign that the home is cutting corners and may not be entirely safe. Make sure that your loved one's room has good lighting at all times, as well as a lot of space for them to move around safely. Make sure to ask what time the caregivers turn on the hall lights at night.
Non-Compliant Cooking Appliances
When your loved one enters an assisted living or long-term care facility, they may have different needs than someone who lives independently, so they need appliances that function differently than those you would find in your kitchen.
Non-compliant cooking appliances can lead to many accidents, so make sure they stay far away from your loved ones. These appliances can easily bring harm to them, such as a toaster that doesn't have automatic shutters or burners that are too hot.
Loose Debris Leading to Falls
It can be very easy for loose debris to lead to a nursing home accident. Loose debris, being the leading cause of nursing home accidents, can lead to falls, injuries, and sometimes even death. If you're considering bringing your loved one to a facility, look for signs of cluttered hallways and items on the floor or strewn about. Make sure to ask about what the nursing team does with loose items such as shoes and newspapers.
Such items can quickly become tripping hazards in hallways or on stairs. Another consideration is that loose objects may interfere with the caregiver's ability to move their patient.
Bone density can start to decrease after age 40 or 50, due to osteoporosis, a condition in which the bone density decreases, leading to breaks and fractures. However, broken bones due to a slip and fall accident can be a sign of nursing home neglect.
Malnutrition and dehydration in care facilities is, unfortunately, a common problem and can be a sign of nursing home negligence and neglect. Because of medical conditions, nursing home residents may not get enough to eat or drink. Cognitive conditions may prevent a nursing home resident from remembering to drink water or eat enough food.
To prevent dehydration, make sure your loved one has access to plenty of fluids and that the facility has a routine schedule for eating and drinking. Malnutrition can be a sign of nursing home neglect.
Mistakes with Medicine
The potential for mistakes with medicine is another common cause of accidents at a nursing home. The elderly may have to take multiple medications, and a caretaker might accidentally give them the wrong dosage or mix up their prescriptions.
Understaffing in nursing homes is a common reason why mistakes happen. Ensure that the long term care facility staffs the nursing home adequately, especially at night and on weekends.
Falls in the Bathroom
A fall in the bathroom can cause fractures and other serious injuries. Even worse, another frightening cause of death for older adults is drowning after a fall in the bathroom. Drowning in bathtubs is more common than you’d expect and usually happens when caregivers are not paying enough attention or when patients lose mobility due to injuries and cannot get themselves out of the tub.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If your loved one is experiencing pain, foul odors, bruises, or weight loss, this could be a sign of nursing home neglect. These symptoms may be evidence of a fall, inattentiveness to the resident’s diet and eating habits, inadequate help with hygiene, or insufficient supervision.
Don’t wait to act if your loved one is experiencing neglect or abuse in their care facility. Our New Jersey nursing home abuse attorneys can explain your legal options, investigate your case, and help you file a claim. Don’t let injustices against your loved ones continue. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.