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We Place Our Loved Ones in Nursing Homes to Keep Them Safe But Are They Really Safe?

by The Beasley Firm  |  June 7, 2011  |  

We all know that we must keep toddlers safe from drowning in buckets of water or areas where there may be small standing water. At times, we sadly hear about a toddler falling into a small body of water or bucket of water and drowning, but an elder? Well, sometimes our elders, due to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, overmedication, confusion, disorientation, or other mind altering causes, need to be watched just as carefully as a toddler. Some elders are just as frail and vulnerable to catastrophic injuries as a child is. It is not an age that dictates how much safety precautions one has to provide someone; it is the mental function or capacity of an individual that dictates how much someone needs help, guidance, monitoring, and safety.

Unfortunately, the employees of an adult care home failed to realize that a 92 year old dementia woman was at risk. She was found 200 feet away from the adult care home where she resided. She was found face down in a puddle that was only 2 inches deep. An autopsy showed that she had water in her lungs and had hypothermia or a low body temperature. She drowned to death in a puddle and the air temperature that day was only 44 degrees in addition to a light rainfall. Not only was the 92 year old woman legally blind, she had dementia. One could question whether bed alarms were in place, but the most compelling issue in this case is that the elder exited a door that had its alarm turned off. Even worse, it was the family members that found her face down, dead and frozen in the puddle, not the staff.

State regulators found the adult care home in violation of codes pertaining to physical environment, personal care, and supervision. Specifically, the home, “failed to ensure measures were utilized to prevent residents assessed as being disoriented and having wandering behaviors from exiting the facility building unsupervised.” Employees told investigators that the door alarm was purposely disabled so employees could go out that door to smoke.

Since 1958, the highly acclaimed and nationally recognized Beasley medical negligence law firm has been successfully litigating nursing home abuse cases and wrongful deaths, with an unparalleled record of success. Our experienced lawyers, doctors, and nurses have the real working knowledge that assisted us in obtaining two of the largest medical negligence verdicts in Pennsylvania history, $100 million and $55 million, as well as many other multi-million dollar judgments and settlements. To date, we have had billions awarded on behalf of our inured clients. We are here to help you too.

If you or a loved one has been wrongfully injured due to nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect, please feel free to contact one of our experienced nursing home negligence lawyers in Philadelphia. As always, we offer a zero fee guarantee, which means that if we don’t make a recovery on your behalf, you don’t owe us anything. We always offer a free, confidential, no obligation consultation.

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