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Questions Regarding Brain and Head Injuries in Nursing Homes

How do residents suffer brain and head injuries in nursing homes?

Sadly, many brain and head injuries occurring in nursing homes happen because the staff is not properly trained to prevent accidents and residents are not properly supervised. Head and brain trauma leading to injury, disability and even wrongful death occur too frequently in our nation’s nursing homes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,800 people residing in nursing home die each year from falls alone. With better monitoring and proper staff training, many of these falls, and other serious injuries could be prevented.

How does neglect contribute to serious brain injury?

Without proper monitoring, elderly nursing home residents may fall and incur a serious head or brain injury. Also, if the resident is not provided with a walker, cane, wheelchair or other mobility aid when necessary, this may constitute caregiver neglect.

To safely move a patient, adequate staff must be present and properly trained in transfer techniques, and must have access to the necessary equipment, such as lifts, to properly transfer a patient. When transfers from the bed to a chair or wheelchair, from the wheelchair to a commode, and so forth are performed by inadequately trained or supervised staff, nursing home residents pay the price.

Nursing home residents often fall victim to emotional, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of inadequately trained or supervised staff or volunteers, who sometimes experience frustration, anger, and impatience on the job.

Anoxic brain injury, when the brain receives inadequate oxygen, can be caused by smothering, choking, failure to supply supplemental oxygen, medication errors and getting caught between the bed rails. Some patients never recover from such traumatic brain injury.

Why don’t residents always report abuse?

In some cases, the resident fears retaliation. Other patients suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s, and health concerns that make it difficult or impossible to communicate about the abuse that has occurred. Some elderly residents may not be aware of the abuse. In order to prevent nursing home abuse and keep your loved one safe, visit regularly. Vary your visitations as to time and day, so caregivers will not anticipate your arrival. Talk to other residents of the nursing home, and pay attention to the attitudes and conversations of caregivers. Get to know your loved one’s roommate and their family. Exchange phone numbers with them and their family members so that if something happens, you are able to contact them. They may be an important witness to the care given to your loved one.

If I suspect my loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, what should I do?

If you suspect your loved one has been abused or is the victim of wrongful death due to nursing home neglect or abuse, contact an attorney immediately to discuss your legal options.

The attorneys at Cullan & Cullan are also doctors. We have the education and experience it takes to investigate your loved one’s rights with vigor. Please contact Cullan & Cullan today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and all of Arizona.


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