IDPH has cited and fined Dimensions Living nursing home in Prospect Heights after a resident there was involved in two falls in four days – the first resulting in a broken jaw, the second resulting in facial fractures.
One of the basic truisms in the long-term care industry is that if a nursing home is unable to meet the care needs of a resident, the only proper course is for the nursing home to decline the admission of that resident. In fact, federal regulations require that nursing homes have enough properly trained staff on had to meet the care needs of its residents on a 24/7 basis.
This resident was admitted to the nursing home from an assisted living facility. The reason that the transfer was made was that the resident was having frequent falls in the assisted living facility, and one of the well-recognized truths about falls in a long-term care setting is the falls tend to beget more falls. A history of recent falls is a factor that is accounted for in almost all fall risk assessment tools.
And this resident was in fact a fall risk – in addition to the history of falls, she also suffered from cognitive impairments with diminished safety awareness. She also had generalized weakness and and required extensive assistance with transfers and mobility. Her assessment concluded with a statement which stated that she required one-on-one care.
The first nursing home fall occurred approximately a month after the resident was admitted. She was seated in a wheelchair doing an activity. The activity aide assigned to run the activity was passing out to drinks to other residents when the resident fell forward from her wheelchair and hit the ground, suffering a fractured jaw.
The second fall occurred four days later. The resident was again brought to the dining room for activities being conducted by an activity aide. The resident again had another fall, this time hitting her head, resulting in significant bleeding and a lost tooth. The resident was sent to the hospital due to complaints of pain and having a hard time breathing. There a CT scan showed that she sustained facial fractures.
The resident’s assessment showed that she required a significant degree of supervision. She was an obvious fall risk in light of her history of falls, cognitive impairments, poor safety awareness, and generalized weakness. The assessment recited that she required one-on-one assistance, which is a level of care that nursing homes generally claim is impossible. The facts here show not only did the nursing home fail to provide the care which they recognized in the assessment that she required, but they failed to provide the adequate supervision called for by federal regulations. The activity aide was charged with not only conducting the activity, but also supervising the multiple residents who had been brought to the activity without the help of additional staff. Inadequate supervision leads to fall, and did so here.
One of our basic beliefs is that nursing homes are built to fail due to the business model they follow and that unnecessary accidental injuries and wrongful deaths of nursing home residents are the inevitable result. Order our FREE report, Built to Fail, to learn more about why. Our experienced Chicago nursing home lawyers are ready to help you understand what happened, why, and what your rights are. Contact us to get the help you need.
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