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glenview nursing home abuse lawyerMany families are forced to make the decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home because they have reached the point where they can no longer live on their own and require round-the-clock care and assistance. Nursing home staff are responsible for helping residents with their personal hygiene tasks, such as showering and dressing, as well as making sure they take their medication, eat right, and participate in socializing. The law requires that these duties are carried out with both compassion and care.

But not all nursing home staff obey these laws, and when they fail to comply, the results can result in serious injury or even death for a resident. A nursing home resident who is not physically or mentally able to care for their own needs could forget to eat, take their medication, wander off the facility, or fall because no one is supervising them. It is critical for all families to be aware of any signs that could indicate their loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect.

Warning Signs of Neglect or Abuse

There are many ways that nursing home neglect can occur. Residents can be denied food and liquids, denied use of the bathroom facilities, or denied help to take care of their personal hygiene needs. The facility itself can be cluttered, unclean, or there could be environmental hazards, such as medical waste not properly disposed of that could be dangerous for residents.

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IL injury lawyerSome nursing home falls are caused by nursing home neglect - when nursing homes fail to use an appropriate level of care and caution to keep their residents safe from harm. In some cases, falls are mere accidents that would have been difficult to prevent. Others are the result of dangerous conditions in the facility. Always contact an attorney if you suspect that your family member’s injuries were caused by nursing home neglect. Here are some common causes of falls in nursing homes:

  • Medication - Many medications that are given to nursing home residents come with side effects that include dizziness or drowsiness and can cause a fall. Narcotic pain medication is frequently administered to elderly nursing home patients. Overmedication or failure to take adequate precautions after starting a resident on a new medication that has these side effects can cause a dangerous fall.
  • Hazards in Walkways - Objects like food service carts or unoccupied wheelchairs left sitting in the hallway or carelessly placed oxygen tanks on the floor in a resident’s room can cause a resident to fall after tripping or losing their balance trying to dodge an unexpected object. Many nursing home residents also have a visual impairment that makes keeping walkways free from unexpected obstacles especially important.
  • Incorrectly Used Equipment - This includes items like beds, which may be set too high or too low, and wheelchairs or walkers that aren’t properly fitted to the patient. Lifts that are not used correctly may also fail and drop a patient.
  • Errors in Transferring - Staff may sometimes make a mistake or violate policy while transferring or moving a patient. For example, a nurse may decide to transfer a patient herself when she should have called for a second staff member to assist.

Falls can be devastating for elderly people in the care of a nursing home. Injuries like broken bones, especially broken hips, and head injuries like concussions or contusions can result. Nursing homes have a legal obligation to use reasonable professional care in keeping their residents safe from harm.

Call a North Shore Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

If your family member fell and was injured while in the care of a nursing home, contact Gruzmark Law, Ltd. to learn about your legal options. Nursing homes that allow a patient to fall through neglect should be held accountable. Find out how a Glenview nursing home neglect attorney may be able to help. Call 847-729-7660 for a free consultation.

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