A resident at the Fair Acres nursing home in Du Quoin, Illinois was a victim of nursing home neglect when she fell from her wheelchair and landed on her face, requiring stitches above both eyes.
The resident was 98 years old and had numerous medical conditions including blindness and dementia. It’s hard to imagine a more frail and vulnerable situation. Her Plan of Care noted that she required a body torso brace to prevent her from falling while in her wheelchair.
The investigation of the nursing home fall revealed an environment at Fair Acres where the safety of residents was not a high priority. A member of the laundry staff found the resident being pushed down the hall by another resident without her body brace. Obviously, one nursing home resident is not supposed to be pushing another resident at any time, but certainly not without the proper safety devices.
The staff member returned the resident to her room, and then left her. The staff member claimed to have alerted several other staff members to the situation. Two hours later, the resident was found bleeding on the floor of her room. She was transferred to a local Du Quoin hospital where she was treated for her injuries.
Nursing home falls are always dangerous, and they often lead to infections, broken bones, and can often ultimately prove fatal. Considering the advanced age and infirmity of the victim, it’s extremely fortunate that there weren’t more extreme injuries.
Nursing homes have an obligation to provide a safe environment for their residents by determining the likelihood of nursing home falls, putting interventions to prevent nursing home falls into each resident’s plan of care, and consistently following that policy. Clearly, the Fair Acres staff failed to meet those criteria.