When an elderly person transitions into a nursing home or assisted living environment, most of the time they do so without difficulty or injury. But problems can arise as a result of the care, or lack of care, the nursing home provides. Elderly people can suffer harm because of a nursing home’s negligence or intentional misconduct. Many of these cases come about because of similar causes.
Nursing Home Dangers in Fertile Minnesota
Choking in Nursing Homes
It’s estimated that 50% to 60% of elderly adults who live in a nursing home or other elder care institution suffer from a swallowing disorder. A swallowing impairment, or dysphagia, is something many elderly people suffer from, and something that often increases when an elderly person has other disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease or dementia. Without the proper care, an elderly person with dysphagia is at risk of choking and even dying.
In some situations where a nursing home is caring for an elderly person who has difficulty swallowing, the facility will sometimes use a feeding tube to deliver nutrition. When a nursing home does this they have to take the proper steps to ensure the elderly person doesn’t suffer complications as a result of the feeding tube, such as pneumonia or dehydration.
Slips and Falls
Experts estimate that about one-third of seniors will slip and fall in any given year. While most of these cases did not result in anything more than bruising, some slip and fall accidents can be significant. Roughly 11% of elderly people who suffer a slip and fall every year develop a serious injury.
When an elderly person slips and falls in a nursing home facility, it’s often as a result of the facility’s negligence. Failing to maintain a safe environment or failing to adequately monitor the elderly person can rise to level of negligence or health care malpractice.
Nursing Home Pressure Sores
Commonly referred to as bedsores, pressure sores or pressure ulcers are some of the more common injuries that nursing home residents suffer. About 20% of elderly people in nursing homes will develop some kind of pressure sore injury after living in a facility for two years or longer. Such injuries only develop after prolonged time, and their presence often indicates that the facility is not providing the adequate level of care the elderly person requires.
Prescription Medication Mistakes
Some of the more serious problems elderly people can encounter in a nursing home environment occur after they are given the wrong type or dosage of a prescription drug. The vast majority of nursing home residents—over 90%—take some kind of prescribed medication. When nursing home staff members provide the wrong type or dosage of medication, this can easily lead to serious injuries and fatalities.