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Chicago nursing home injury attorneyThe majority of nursing home residents have physical and mental disabilities that affect their ability to live independently. Residents may be living in the facility primarily because they need help using the bathroom, showering, eating, and completing other daily living tasks. Nursing home staff members have a responsibility to evaluate the degree of assistance residents need to complete these tasks and to adequately provide the level of care needed. Because many residents have health conditions that affect their ability to eat, nursing home staff should be especially aware of choking risks. When nursing home staff do not take the steps necessary to prevent residents from choking, the facility could be held legally responsible for residents who are injured or killed in choking accidents.

Staff Have a Legal Duty to Monitor Residents

One of the biggest responsibilities nursing home staff have is to supervise residents so that they do not put themselves in dangerous situations. What constitutes a dangerous situation may vary depending on the resident’s individual needs. For example, a resident with advanced dementia may need to be more closely monitored than a resident who does not have significant cognitive impairment.

When a new resident is admitted to a nursing home, he or she undergoes assessments in order to determine the type and extent of care he or she needs. If a resident has health problems such as dysphagia that put him or her at a higher risk of choking, staff should take steps to mitigate this risk as much as possible. This may include monitoring the resident during meals, modifying the patient’s diet so that it only includes easy-to-swallow food, or other precautions. Nursing home staff should also periodically re-assess residents in order to determine if the residents need additional care and attention.

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Illinois nursing home abuse attorneysWhen most people consider nursing home neglect and abuse, they think of abuse and mistreatment at the hands of nursing home staff. However, this is not the only way that nursing home residents can be subject to verbal and physical harm. Sometimes, a nursing home resident can suffer severe maltreatment at the hands of another resident. Nursing home staff have a responsibility to supervise residents – especially residents who have a history of violent behavior. When a nursing home resident injures another resident, it is possible that the nursing home facility will be liable for the injuries.

Keeping Residents Safe From Other Residents

Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and other neurological conditions are common in nursing home residents. These diseases can make a resident confused and frightened. A resident who is typically a kind, nonviolent person may lash out at another resident in his or her confusion. Nursing home staff should carefully monitor residents and take every step possible to avoid resident confrontations. When nursing home staff fail to uphold their duty to properly supervise residents and a resident is harmed as a result, the staff or facility may be legally responsible for the damages caused.  The injured resident may be entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses incurred by the attack as well as compensation for physical pain and mental suffering.

Nursing Home Resident’s Death Ruled Homicide

Just recently, a 45-year-old man living in an Ohio nursing home died due to the shocking actions of another resident. The coroner has reported that the man’s death was caused by asphyxiation by smothering or strangulation. Another resident has been arrested on a preliminary murder charge for the man’s death.

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Illinois nursing home abuse attorneyWhen you place a loved one under the care of a nursing home, you expect that they will be treated with the care and dignity they deserve. You probably understand that a nursing facility may be more institutional than “homey,” but such facilities are designed to give patients around the clock access to medical care and personalized attention. Unfortunately, nursing home residents face a variety of dangers—some related to their own health conditions and some that may be caused by negligence on the part of the staff. For residents who are bedridden or wheelchair bound, bed sores are among the most common nursing home injuries, and many are the result of substandard care.

What Are Bed Sores?

Bed sores are also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers. These injuries are areas of skin that become inflamed due to pressure on the skin that prevents normal blood flow. If not addressed, the inflammation can transform into blisters and eventually open sores. In the most serious cases, the ulcers can continue to worsen and expose underlying muscle and bone.

Pressure ulcers are especially common among patients who are confined to bed or a chair and unable to move themselves easily. Friction caused by contact with clothing or bedsheets and moisture from sweat or urine can accelerate the development of bed sores. Patients with more fragile skin and those with circulatory problems are at a particularly high risk. Bed sores can form on any part of the body, but they are most frequently found on the parts of the body that remain in contact with a bed, including heels, elbows, shoulders, hips, and tailbones.

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