Question: My mother lives in a Pennsylvania nursing home outside of Philadelphia. She apparently had a fall accident and broke her arm. The staff told me that she fell from her bed while trying to get up. I am upset because nursing home employees are supposed to help her when she tries to get up. I don’t think anyone was there to help her. What can I do?
Answer: In order to find out what happened with your mother’s fall, we will need to investigate and gather evidence. For instance, we will need to talk to your mother, if possible, to find out what happened. We would have to look at her care plan and medical records/charts. In addition, the nursing home’s policy and procedure manuals will also need to be examined, as well as the number of employees working at the time of your mother’s fall.
While we don’t know the circumstances surrounding your mother’s fall, below are 2 common fall accidents caused by the negligence of a nursing home. If the nursing home is negligent, then an injured nursing home resident would have legal rights against the home.
One of the most common causes of PA nursing home abuse and neglect cases is insufficient staffing. When there are not enough employees to care for the residents, accidents, including fall from bed accidents, happen. For instance, a resident may need to use the bathroom and need help getting to the bathroom. The resident’s care plan clearly indicates that nursing home employees are required to aid the resident to/from bed for toileting needs. The resident uses the call button to have someone come help. However, no one comes because there is not enough staffing. The resident cannot wait any longer and tries to get off the bed and falls from the bed as a result.
In this situation, the nursing home will most likely be responsible for the resident’s fall because there was insufficient staffing and the resident’s needs could not be addressed.
Improperly Trained Employees
The nursing home can also be responsible for a resident’s fall from bed accident if an employee was improperly trained. For example, if the employee was not trained in the proper techniques for transferring residents from a bed, the employee may drop the resident or cause the resident to fall.
If you suspect that your mother was neglected which caused her to fall, you should file a report with the nursing home administrator. You should also file a report with the local Ombudsman’s Office. Your report will then prompt a state investigation.
You should also speak to a PA nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer as soon as possible to advise you about your loved one’s legal rights and what you should do.
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