Four residents of the Meadowood nursing home in Grayville, Illinois experienced recurring falls while living at the nursing home. One of the residents, an 84-year-old woman with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure fractured her collarbone and both hips.
Unlike most slip and fall accidents, nursing home falls are generally predictable events. It’s not breaking any new ground to say that the elderly are prone to falls. Declining physical condition, confusion that causes poor decision making, and powerful medications all contribute to a widely known propensity for a loss of balance.
This risk is the reason why every nursing home is supposed to conduct regular evaluations of all of their residents to determine the likelihood of a nursing home fall and put interventions in place to prevent nursing home falls from ever occurring.
The 84-year-old woman at Meadowood in Grayville fell three separate times in May, twice in October and again in November and December.
When a resident experiences a nursing home fall, the nursing home is legally obligated to conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the fall. After determining that root cause of the fall, Meadowood should have documented additional interventions that were put in place to prevent additional falls. Additional interventions can include bed alarms, non-skid footwear, or the use of a Hoyer Lift when transferring the resident from bed to wheelchair.
Instead, most of these falls garnered no additional investigation whatsoever. One note stated “we might need to use personal alarm to alert staff the resident is getting out of bed,” but there is no indication that action was ever taken.
Another Meadowood resident suffered a total of 17 nursing home falls between April and December of 2011. Clearly, Meadowood is not taking sufficient actions to prevent such incidents.
If you have a loved one who has been injured in an Illinois nursing home, and you feel that nursing home neglect is to blame, contact our Chicago nursing home lawyers for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.