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Understaffed Nursing Homes Put Residents at Greater Risk of Fatal Falls

Excerpts from Dinizulu Law Group 

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Understaffed Nursing Homes Put Residents at Greater Risk of Fatal FallsUnderstaffed Nursing Homes Put Residents at Greater Risk of Fatal FallsIllinois nursing homes are continuously challenged by an inadequate amount of care workers to provide to residents’ needs. Although Illinois law requires 2.5 hours of direct care for residents each day, less than a quarter of residents in Chicagoland nursing homes live in understaffed conditions that put them at risk for abuse and neglect. Some long-term facilities have routinely been understaffed for years while others manage facilities with little interest in providing attentive, quality resident care.

As a result, fall-related injuries among residents are on the rise. Hazards that can cause fall injuries to occur in nursing homes include Bathtubs without handlebarsBeds that are set too high broken bed railsImproper transfer from wheelchair to bed, a bed to toilet, or chair to chair Understaffed departments unable to attend to patient’s needs (grooming, toileting, mobility to wheelchair or walker). Over-medicating residents with anti-anxiety drugs and sedatives Restraints Stairs Electrical cord spool lighting Wet floors lose rugsPoorly fitted wheelchairs Poorly maintained wheelchairs Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among adults age 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Injuries from Fall Injuries in Nursing Homes Between 50 to 75% of nursing home residents will have a fall each year. When elderly individuals fall, these injuries can be severe as their bones are not able to recover the way a younger person’s bones do. Fall injuries in nursing homes can lead to bone fractures, brain injuries, or even death. Residents that are prescribed antipsychotics, blood thinners, and anticonvulsant drugs also carry their own extra risk of falling. Because of how common and well-known fall injuries are in long-term care facilities, staff should take extra precautions and follow care plans that include fall prevention strategies. When improper care is provided and staffing levels are insufficient, it becomes easy for an older adult to become injured by a preventable fall.

The CDC states that the rising number of deaths from falls amongst this older age group can be addressed by “screening for fall risk and intervening to address risk factors such as the use of medicines that may increase fall risk, or poor strength and balance.”Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect AttorneyThe experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of Dinizulu Law Group have brought justice for our clients and their families while upholding responsible parties for the abuse and neglect their loved ones endured. If a loved one has sustained serious injuries resulting from a fall at a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. There is a time limit to file a case in Illinois, so please contact our office for a free consultation with one of our skilled nursing home attorneys. If you suspect any fall injury resulting from neglect or abuse at your loved ones nursing home, contact the attorneys of Dinizulu Law Group for a free consultation at (312) 384-1920 or visit our website for more information.ISSUE: APRIL 2021   

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