Many residents in nursing homes depend on the assistance of staff members to do many day-to-day activities. Some residents could not get dressed, eat, shower, walk, get out of bed, or hydrate themselves without the assistance of nursing home staff. Sometimes these residents suffer from diminished mobility, have difficulty eating or swallowing, or are simply too elderly, weak, frail, or sickly to provide much care for themselves. Dependent residents necessarily place a lot of trust in the staffers that care for them.
When staff members help dependent residents it is imperative that they give the resident their full attention. There are many situations in which staff must help residents and if they are not careful or attentive, they could seriously hurt or injure the resident.
Feeding time requires supervision. Some residents that have difficulty swallowing may be able to feed themselves specially prepared food that is softer than normal food. It is important that staff carefully watch residents with known swallowing difficulties in case a piece of food is too firm, or too large, and the resident begins to choke. Similarly, residents who require feeding through a tube also require supervision during the administration of meals to ensure that the feeding tube is properly placed inside the stomach and has not moved up the esophagus. One of the most dangerous things that can happen to residents who take their meals through a feeding tube is that the tube can become dislodged and can force food to enter the lungs, causing the resident to suffocate.
Moving a resident with limited mobility requires undivided attention. When nursing staff moves a resident with limited mobility from his or her bed to a wheelchair, or vice versa, the act of lifting and transferring the resident requires the full and undivided attention of the staff member. Residents with limited mobility will be unable to catch themselves or support any weight if the staffer accidentally slips, drops the resident, or loses his or her balance while picking up and transferring the resident. This could lead to serious injuries if the staffer drops the resident during the move.
Assisting a Resident with Standing Dressing or Changing
Older residents often require assistance with simple daily tasks such as dressing, showering, and standing for long periods of time. Sometimes the resident is so elderly and frail that the task of standing for even a few moments is physically strenuous and draining. Leaving a resident for too long unattended in a standing position could lead to an accidental fall, which can seriously injure the resident if he or she strikes a piece of furniture or hits his or her head.
Just a few seconds of staff inattentiveness can be enough time for a resident to become seriously injured. If your loved one residing in an Illinois nursing home has suffered from an injury due to the inattentiveness of the nursing home staff providing his or her care, you should contact the attorneys at the Rooth Law Firm to discuss your situation. We can be reached by telephone at (800) 350-0646 or online at any time.