Alden Town Manor nursing home in Cicero was cited by IDPH after a resident suffered a broken hip during a transfer that was being performed by a single aide rather than the required two aides.
The resident at issue had been properly evaluated as a fall risk with need to extensive assist for mobility and the use of a mechanical lift with assist of two for transfers. This means that there were two aides that were supposed to participate in every transfer. It was part of the facility’s policies and procedures, it was incorporated into the resident’s care plan. It was clear that this is what was supposed to be done when a resident was being transferred.
However, on the day of the fall at the nursing home, only a single aide was assisting the resident while using the lift to move her back to bed after a shower. What happened next is exactly why the assist of two was needed for transfers: the aide lost control of the resident and she suffered a fractured hip. Hip fractures have devastating consequences for nursing home residents and often set the stage for the wrongful death of the resident. This resident survived – at least for the short term – and was able to describe what happened to both the nursing home administration and the surveyors from IDPH.
What happened in the immediate aftermath of the fall was a fascinating slice of life: one aide asked another to cover for her and say that they were both in the room and the sling to the lift just snapped mid-transfer and that was the cause of the fall. The story unraveled when inspection of the sling showed that there was nothing wrong with it …. and the resident returned to the facility to tell the administration that there was only one aide involved in the transfer. This of course begs the question, what else are they doing that they are not supposed to be doing and covering for one another? Why did the aide who was not in the room feel compelled to agree to the cover story?
This is a common tale, sadly. Many of the episodes we have covered involving failed transfers like this one have involved this exact same scenario – the transfer that was supposed to be with the assist of two was done with one. You can read about that here, here, here, and here. The root cause of this tends to be understaffing which is something that we cover in detail in our fee Built to Fail report, available for order through this web site. 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.