A resident at the Arlington Rehab and Living Center in Long Grove, Illinois suffered a skull fracture after a nursing home fall. The woman was admitted to the Arlington Rehab and Living Center in early September of last year with a head laceration and staples from a prior fall.
The resident’s Care Assessment Summary indicated her history of falls, and was assessed as a moderate risk of further falls. Her Care Plan called for her to be assisted when walking in her room. In spite of the plan, she was alone when she slipped on spilled water and was taken to a nearby Long Grove, Illinois hospital where she was diagnosed with a skull fracture.
She was readmitted to the facility three days later. Her doctor had ordered that a bed alarm be utilized at the Arlington Rehab and Living Center so that staff would be alerted when she attempted to exit the bed. The resident’s care plan was updated to include the bed alarm. A day later she fell again. Again, she was alone in her room when the nursing home fall took place. The bed alarm had never been installed.
Part 300 Section 1210 of the Illinois Administrative Code governs the general requirements for nursing and personal care in a nursing home or other facility. It reads, in part, “All nursing personnel shall assist and encourage residents with ambulation and safe transfer activities as often as necessary in an effort to help them retain or maintain their highest practicable level of functioning.”
What that means on a practical level is that nursing homes cannot simply place a resident in a bed or wheelchair and leave them all day. If a resident wants to get up, and, with assistance, has the capabilities of standing and walking, all nursing home employees are responsible for helping him or her achieve that goal.
The point is that the resident is not to blame for attempting to get out of bed. That’s her right. It’s the obligation of the staff at the Arlington Rehab and Living Center to ensure that she is as safe as possible when she does.
If you have a loved one who has been injured due to repeated falls in an Illinois nursing home, and you feel they may be the victim of nursing home neglect, please contact my law offices for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. At the law offices of Barry Doyle, we never charge a fee unless we take, and win, your case.