When families in southern New York or northern Pennsylvania make the difficult decision to help a loved one move into a nursing home, they expect their loved one to be safe and well cared for.
While most nursing homes genuinely try to keep their patients safe, injuries and accidents happen even at the best run facilities.
There are several ways patients can suffer injuries while staying in a nursing home:
- Falling is a common issue among nursing home patients. Between the patients’ physical condition and certain common hazards, most patients in a nursing home will fall at least once. Bad falls can cause spinal cord injuries, head injuries and broken bones. Serious falls can contribute to a patient’s untimely death.
- Even homes with good employment practices can hire a bad apple every now and then. Intentional abuse or neglect can cause nursing home injuries.
- Bedsores can develop quickly, especially if a patient is not able to move around easily. Nursing home staff must take steps consistently to prevent these painful and potentially dangerous wounds.
- Sometimes, the nursing staff can make a mistake with a patient’s medicine or with other aspects of their care plan. In other cases, they may simply not do enough to prevent the spread of infection or to ensure a patient is getting proper nutrition.
- The patients themselves may cause injuries. Some patients with neurological problems may be prone to violent or erratic behavior. Others may tend to wander away from the home and wind up in very dangerous situations.
- Equipment problems, such as issues with bedrails, can cause serious injuries.
Nursing homes have a legal responsibility to protect their residents
Even in nursing homes that are basically well run, miscommunications, staffing shortages and simple human errors and omissions can leave patients seriously injured.
Sadly, some nursing home injuries will mean a family loses their loved one earlier than they should have.
No matter their intentions, nursing home facilities are responsible for their patients’ well-being. If they fail in this responsibility, victims and their families may be able to seek compensation from the nursing home.
A family in the Olean area who believes their loved one is a victim of nursing home negligence should make sure they understand their legal options.