While many nursing homes provide very good care to the elderly individuals they serve, some of these facilities neglect their patients for a variety of reasons. Nursing home neglect is a very serious problem that can lead to injuries, illness and even death. When patients in a nursing home are not properly monitored, they very easily can fall down and injure themselves. Falls in the elderly population can result in very serious injuries which often include broken bones, bruises and lacerations. Head trauma is also a big concern when elderly fall. In the worst case scenario, a severe head injury can be sustained wherein the patient is left permanently impaired. These types of injuries are entirely preventable as often they occur simply because patients were insufficiently monitored which led to them falling and injuring themselves.
Many patients living in nursing homes have dementia. This type of patient tends to wander inside or outside the facility. There have been many cases across the United States where patients in nursing homes whom have not been adequately monitored have wandered into busy streets or out into the cold wherein they suffered serious injuries. Tragically, some of these patients lost their lives due to hypothermia or dehydration as they were not found in time. Wrongful death lawsuits were filed by some of the families of these victims wherein they were awarded very large settlements.
Since nursing home patients often suffer from serious health issues including dementia, cerebral palsy and Alzheimer’s disease, they are at high risk for injuries suffered in falls if they are not monitored with care. These patients as well as all residents of nursing homes are deserving of the utmost care and attention. When proper monitoring of residents is not done and injuries result, the nursing homes can be held accountable for the injuries as they are committing negligence which is unlawful.
Families of nursing home patients who fell and became injured because they were not being monitored by staff may be able to sue the facilities for negligence. Nursing home neglect attorneys can help these families determine if the injuries suffered by their loved ones were caused by the staff’s failure to monitor.
Why Patients are Not Monitored
Even when nursing home staff are well-intended and honestly concerned for the safety of the residents they care for, their efforts to supervise and monitor the residents properly can be undercut by nursing home policies that lead to staffing cuts or inadequate training programs. This type of situation puts vulnerable, unmonitored patients at high risk for injuries as an unmonitored elderly patients can easily fall down and sustain injuries which are very serious in nature.
When there is a poor staff to patient ratio at a nursing home, the residents are at high risk for falling and injuring themselves. A lack of care staff means that there are simply too few workers available to properly keep an eye on the residents. It is common for nursing home staff to feel overworked and under-appreciated. Staff burn-out is a common problem in nursing homes. These are all reasons why residents are not properly monitored.
Another rather new problem is the use of smartphones among nursing home staff while on duty. Instead of monitoring patients as they are supposed to, many staff members are preoccupied with web surfing, chatting, Facebook, etc. This lack of attention being paid to patients can and does result in patients falling and injuring themselves.
If a loved one or family member of yours sustained injuries from a fall inside a nursing home and you suspect it was caused by a failure of staff to monitor your loved one, you should speak to a nursing home neglect attorney. Your attorney will review your case and let you know if you have grounds for filing a neglect claim against the facility.