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Cheyenne Personal Injury Law Blog

Government database flags facilities for nursing home negligence

Many elders in Wyoming live in nursing homes. The events that may have led a particular resident to choose this option often vary from patient to patient. However, those residing in such facilities should not have to fear that nursing home negligence will cause them injury, illness, or, in worst cases, death.

A U.S. government website has implemented a database that flags nursing facilities with a warning icon if they have received "severe citations" for abuse, neglect or exploitation. A spokesperson for the federal government said the idea behind the warning flag system is that nursing home companies can compete for highest quality care. The government rep also said that having a facility flagged should serve as incentive to the nursing home in question to come into compliance with the law.

Nursing home negligence likely the cause of man's death

Many Wyoming residents are adult children of parents who currently reside in assisted-living facilities. Some nursing home patients are permanent residents in their facilities, while others stay on a temporary basis, such as during recovery after a serious surgery or accident-related injury. A woman in another state said her 66-year-old father had been doing superbly well after a recent kidney transplant but apparent nursing home negligence turned his successful recovery into tragedy.

The man had a fistula in his forearm due to a dialysis catheter. A care and supervision plan was in place that required nursing home staff members to check on the patient every two hours. This system was being used because there is a known risk of hemorrhage with forearm fistulas.

Is staff shortage a key factor toward nursing home negligence?

Many Wyoming readers know what is like to be overworked. When a company simply does not have enough employees on the payroll to cover all the duties necessary to keep a business functioning properly, the workers that do exist often have to double their workloads. This can lead to extreme fatigue, low morale and other problems; in fact, some say staff shortages and overworked employees are key issues in many nursing home negligence cases.

Providing efficient care to all patients is part of every medical worker's highest priorities. Each patient in a nursing home has unique needs and health history. One medical journal reported a direct connection between nursing workload and patient safety incidents, including mortality.

Why does nursing home negligence occur?

When you entrust the safety and well-being of your loved one to a Wyoming nursing home, you can reasonably expect care providers to offer the highest quality of care. There is no excuse for nursing home negligence. So, why does it happen?

Many people believe that nursing facilities are often understaffed. Fewer employees putting in long hours might spark a fatigue problem among staff members. Being tired, however, is no reason to place patients at risk for injury by disregarding protocol or safety regulations.

Daughter files nursing home negligence claim on mother's behalf

Many adult children in Wyoming assist their aging parents with daily living needs. Especially when a parent has transitioned to a nursing facility, a son or daughter is often on hand to help address any problems that arise. If a parent has been declared incapacitated, such as when suffering from dementia, an adult child or other immediate family member may have grounds to act on the victim's behalf if nursing home negligence occurs.

This basically what is happening in a case from another state. An 88-year-old woman was allegedly attacked by a fellow resident in the nursing home where she resides. Staff members reportedly stopped the assault in action but for some reason did not immediately report it to the proper authorities.

There is absolutely no excuse for nursing home negligence

Some Wyoming residents are more vulnerable than others. Elderly people are also often prone to illness or injury, which in some circumstances may lead to the need for a nursing home. If an elder suffers from dementia, he or she may be at risk for any number of problems, including nursing home negligence.

Negligent care in a nursing home should never occur. Workers are trained (or should be) to handle special needs situations. Mental illness can definitely make caring for patients challenging; however, under no circumstances is it acceptable to abuse a patient or provide substandard care.

Nursing home negligence: Staff should recognize mental illness

If an aging parent transitions to residence in a Wyoming nursing home, it may be one of the biggest life-changing events in that particular family's history. For adult children, it can be a highly emotional experience. A main concern for most sons and daughters is making sure nursing home negligence does not negatively affect their loved ones.

Mental illness often rears its ugly head in older nursing home patients. That is why staff members are trained to recognize symptoms and to take appropriate action to provide as high quality care as possible for any patient who is suffering from dementia or other mental health conditions. If a staff member fails to report a potential sign of patient distress or is aware of a problem and does not provide proper care, the patient in question is at great risk for injury.

Siblings say nursing home negligence caused mother trauma

When an aging parent must transition to assisted living, it can take an emotional toll on the whole family. It is often difficult for adults sons and daughter to entrust their parents' well-being to others. Sadly, nursing home negligence is a problem in Wyoming and elsewhere that is preventable and should not happen, but does.

A recent case involved a 91-year-old woman who reportedly suffers from dementia. Most of the staff members where she resides are aware of her distaste of hospital gowns. In fact, the gowns cause her high levels of anxiety.

Is it ethical to use webscams to deter nursing home negligence?

There is a controversy stirring in Wyoming and across the country. It has to do with webcams, more specifically, using them to deter nursing home negligence by installing them in residents' rooms to monitor goings on. A woman in another state did this when she was concerned about the quality of care her mother was receiving.

The woman's 75-year-old mother had a foot infection. Her daughter was troubled that it didn't seem to be getting better. In fact, it didn't appear that her mother was receiving any type of treatment at all. The woman wanted to see what was happening regarding her mother's care while she was not there, so she installed a webcam in her room.

Another nursing home negligence case

Many Wyoming nursing home patients need medication on a regular basis. It is critical that caregivers adhere to stringent protocol and regulations that govern dispensation of medication to avoid making errors. Nursing home negligence involving medication can be life-threatening to a patient.

In one woman's case in another state, the problem was not that incorrect medication had been given to her. The now-deceased woman's daughter says that the  problem was that no licensed caregiver was supervising her mother's intake of medicine. In fact, she was not taking her pills at all; she was hoarding them.