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Unchecked Environmental Risks Put Nursing Home Residents in Danger

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Chicago nursing home neglect attorneyResidents staying in a long-term care facility like a nursing home or assisted living center often have physical and mental challenges which make them especially vulnerable to environmental risks. Nursing home staff have a duty to provide clean and safe living spaces for residents. Unfortunately, issues like understaffing and budget cuts have led to some nursing home’s cutting corners when it comes to the safety of their residents. Nursing home abuse and neglect are sadly not rare occurrences. If you or someone you love has been injured or fallen ill due to an unsafe nursing home facility, please read on to learn what you can do to receive compensation.

Nursing Homes Must Meet Certain Criteria

Both state and federal laws require that nursing homes meet certain standards when it comes to cleanliness and safety. For example, showers and toilets should be fitted with grab bars so that residents with physical disabilities can safely maneuver in the bathroom. Kitchen areas should be cleaned and sanitized regularly, and precautions should be taken to avoid contaminating food. Unfortunately, these protocols are not always followed.

Environmental Risks Can Increase the Chance of Falls, Injuries, and Illnesses

Because the majority of nursing home residents have serious physical and/or mental disabilities, it is critical for their living environment to be as risk-free as possible. Things like hazardous chemicals, poor indoor air quality, unsafe living conditions, and poor food preparation hygiene can be life-threatening to someone whose body is already weakened by age or illness.

One of the most serious threats to nursing home residents’ safety is falling. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that slips and falls cause 1,800 nursing home resident deaths each year. About 20 percent of these falls are caused by environmental hazards like dim lighting, inadequate grab bars and rails, wet floors, and poorly-maintained wheelchairs and furniture.

Unsanitary Conditions Spread Disease and Infection

Infectious disease poses a life-threatening risk to nursing home residents and staff members. Understandably, many nursing home residents have weakened immune systems. This means that it is much easier for them to “catch” a cold or other illness than it would be for a healthy individual. Nursing home staff must be very careful to contain infectious diseases and increase sanitization procedures where necessary.  

Have You Been Mistreated While Staying in a Nursing Home?

If you or someone you love has been neglected or abused while staying in a long-term care facility, the experienced Chicago, Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Schwartz Injury Law are here to help. Call us at 312-535-4625 to schedule a free initial consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Transmittals/downloads/r55soma.pdf

http://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Volume122007/No2May07/HomeEnvironmentalHealthRisks.html

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