The safety of older adults residing in a nursing home is a matter of concern for their family members. It is because of this reason that people are unable to find a suitable nursing home or assisted living facilities easily. In the United States, more than 1.5 million people above the age of 65 live in a nursing home due to personal or medical reasons. Keeping this in mind, it is important to learn more about their safety in case of a personal injury endured because of the negligence shown by the nursing staff. The following two questions will help you understand this matter aptly:
How safe are seniors in a nursing home?
It is an unfortunate reality that older adults who live in a nursing home often face safety issues. This is mainly due to the carelessness of the nursing staff members. However, there are a number of reputed nursing homes and assisted living facilities that follow strict safety protocols within the premises. For this purpose, the following factors are taken into account:
- Ensuring Safe Patient Transfer
When a resident is supposed to be transferred to a hospital in case of a medical emergency, the nursing staff needs to take utmost care and precaution. During this transfer, the safety of the resident is in the hands of the nurses. If an accident or mishap takes place, they will be held responsible.
- Handling Medical Equipment Properly
From a simple blood pressure machine to a high-end wheelchair, the nursing staff must have expertise in operating every medical equipment needed for the care of older adults. In case a resident gets hurt due to mishandling of these instruments, then compensation can be asked for current and future medical bills and care.
- Maintenance of the Nursing Home
A nursing home should be well-maintained in order to provide maximum comfort and security to older adults. It is imperative to have a fire alarm system in place along with safe electric wiring. Injuries caused due to an unsafe environment within the premises of a nursing home are the responsibility of the owners.
- Hiring Authorized Personnel
Safety standards at a nursing home can be ensured only when authorized nursing staff members are hired by the property owners. Background checks and proper documents are essential for every staff member. An individual with a history of physical abuse and/or prison record must not be hired for the care of residents at a nursing home.
What are the factors to ensure their safety?
A nursing home for older adults is a safe place when it follows state and federal guidelines properly. In some cases, nursing staff members do not pay attention to residents’ safety concerns that result in serious injuries and accidents. In such a scenario, a personal injury attorney should be consulted to get the right guidance for filing a lawsuit against the nursing home.
Mentioned below are some of the most important safety rules that must be followed at a well-established nursing home:
- Fall Prevention
The most common issue faced by older adults is falling in a nursing home. When the nursing staff is not paying attention to a resident, the chances of falling from a bed, wheelchair, walker, etc., are very high. It is because of this reason that fall prevention is taken very seriously at a nursing home.
- Medication Protocols
The right amount of dosage must be provided to every nursing home resident at a fixed time as prescribed by their medical practitioners. Overdosing and incorrect medicines are some examples of negligence that can lead to adverse effects on an aging person. Thus, medication protocols must be always followed.
- Infection Control
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided several tool kits, guidelines, and other forms of literature on infection control, especially for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Training sessions must be provided to nursing staff members to safeguard the residents from communicable infections such as COVID-19, swine flu, dengue, and the like.
- Security Measures
People who are residing in a nursing home must be given a secure environment to live in peacefully. CCTV surveillance and security personnel must be deployed within the premises. A personal injury from an abusive nursing staff member, unruly resident, or any other dangerous person can be a viable cause for a lawsuit.
In case you know someone, who has faced this legal issue, they can reach out to our personal injury experts at Siler & Ingber on 516-294-2666.