It may have been an accident, but your loved one was hurt when nursing home staff failed to meet two very simple expectations of nursing home care: supervision and security. Even without the intent to cause harm, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care (LTC) facilities can be seriously injured due to lack of supervision.
Nursing home employees must always ensure the safety of residents – even if they appear to be idle or doing something not usually perceived as unsafe. Even if residents are just sitting, adequate supervision is essential. The level of “adequate supervision” required will depend on the residents’ physical and mental capacities. The resident care plan should detail the level of supervision appropriate to the individual.
Some Activities That Require Resident Supervision:
- Walking – While walking, some falls are just accidents, but other falls can result from negligence. The nursing home staff has a duty to assess residents’ risks of falling, to implement plans to prevent falls, to have procedures in place to prevent falls and to make sure that any resident who is injured in a fall gets prompt medical care.
- Eating and Drinking – The nursing home has a duty to provide adequate nutrition and hydration for each resident. But if staff members fail to properly monitor and assist residents with eating and drinking, and it leads to injury or harm, they may be negligent.
- Smoking – There have been instances where residents have been burned while smoking unsupervised, or have been left unsupervised outside and forgotten. Even if it seems like an idle task, smoking residents need to be supervised by qualified staff.
- Participating in Physical Activities – If a resident participates in facility-sponsored activities such as an exercise program, it is important there is an adequate amount of supervision for each resident present, to protect against injury.
- Bathing – Staff members must also be available to assist in bathing or other bathroom tasks if needed, to prevent falls and other injuries.
Most nursing home residents are not in a condition to be left alone for long periods. They must also be monitored when they are sleeping, changing clothes, taking medication or even sitting in a recreation room watching TV. Adequate supervision is crucial in protecting the safety of nursing home residents. Failure to do so is considered neglect and can result in injury and even death.
Claims involving an injury to a nursing home resident due to inadequate supervision of staff are often due to understaffing, improperly trained staff or the inability to provide basic necessities. In the event that you or a loved one is the victim of abuse and neglect due to a lack of supervision, the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of Hupy and Abraham are here to help.For more information, please download the Guide for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Victims. You can also contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678 or start a live chat anytime at Hupy.com.