A former resident of a California nursing home has filed nursing home abuse and neglect suit against the facility for injuries she sustained in a nursing home fall. She had been living at home with the assistance of her grandson, but when he had to travel out of town for medical testing for himself, she was admitted to a nursing home for a short-term stay.At the time of the admission, the grandson was careful to let the nursing home know that his grandmother was a fall risk and that she needed extensive assistance with walking and getting up and down from a seated position. A care plan was put into place for a two-person assist when getting onto and off the toilet.Unfortunately, one CNA tried to assist her from the toilet by herself and lost control of the resident, causing her to fall forward and hit her face on the floor where she sustained multiple facial fractures. She had to be hospitalized and is now a long-term resident of another nursing home.Nursing home fall suits are often very different from traditional slip and fall suits. In a normal slip and fall suit, there must be an object or substance that causes the fall or a defect in the property that causes the fall. There are some nursing home fall suits that focus on the resident tripping or slipping on a substance or object, but many nursing home fall suits are not prosecuted on this theory.The key issue in most nursing home fall suits is the development and implementation of a fall prevention care plan. When a resident is admitted to a nursing home, the staff must assess the extent to which the resident is a fall risk and develop a care plan for preventing falls in the nursing home. The staff then must implement the care plan. They also must assess the effectiveness of the fall prevention care plan and if it is not effective, revise it.As an experienced Chicago nursing home lawyer, there are four basic areas I consider in every nursing home fall suit we prosecute:
- Failure to properly assess the fall risk;
- Failure to develop an adequate fall prevention care plan;
- Failure to implement the care plan; and
- Failure to assess and revise the care plan.
In this particular case, the focus of the case will be on the implementation of the fall prevention care plan. The care plan called for two people to assist her from the toilet, but only one person did so. This was a violation of the care plan, and led to the resident’s fall and fractures.