Is this assisted living facility abuse?


Should I report the facility to the State?

My mom is in an assisted living facility here in Florida. She continues to fall (both in her room and in the hallway and in the dining room). The staff keeps promising they will keep an eye on her, but she keeps falling.

I am reading online about ALF abuse and it seems like repeated falls with no intervention =s elder abuse. But she has not been 'injured' other than a bruise. Should I report the ALF to the state of Florida? Should I hire an assisted living facility abuse lawyer? I have spoken to the head nurse and they do not seem to care....

Exhausted and Confused

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Dear FloridaGal,

Sorry to hear what is happening with your mother. I know you love her and are very worried about her at this facility. But I have to agree with the others. What is causing your mother to fall? Is it her meds? I would ask the doctor to check on her meds and her current dosage. Hopefully they can adjust them.
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My husband fell in a hospital room with me and an RN in the room, just feet from him. He fell as I helped him use his walker up the sidewalk to a clinic -- had to get someone to come out with a wheelchair. Once when his daughter was in the bathroom helping him wash his hands he fell to the side and landed in the bathtub. She felt terrible!

His doctor did determine the cause of the frequent falls and was able to minimize it considerably. That isn't always possible, but it is worth working with a doctor about falling.

It is not necessarily abuse when elders fall. ALFs cannot use restraints and cannot provide one-on-one monitoring. (And even if they could, elders still fall!)
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Hello, before taking any legal step you need to first observe that what causes your mother fall, is there a change in physical condition or in mental condition!! As this is the only way you can see the reason. If you think staff is not helping your mother, you can go to the manager over there and can request for special treatment. As you haven’t told the medical condition of your mother so I can’t commit about her health problems. I will just say to communicate with staff once and tell them about your mother’s problem in detail. As my friend’s mother was facing same kind of problems and was falling unnecessary from several things. Then he went to doctors over there where he came to know about the issues. Now his mother been taken care specially and one person is always with her all time.
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FloridaGal1960, I was just thinking, is your Mom on blood pressure pills?   Why I am asking is sometimes the pill's dosage becomes too high, thus any time your Mom stands up she will feel faint and fall.   That was happening to my sig other, who is pretty healthy, he lowered the dosage with his doctor's permission and that stopped the problem.

To add to my previous post, my Dad was always falling.   He could tumble out of his chair just tying his shoe.   I got him a rolling walker and that really helped to lessen the falls.   But once his dementia was starting to take over, he was falling on a regular basis.
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Your profile doesn't say if mom has dementia?

An ALF may not have the staff to watch her - does she have a walker and is not using it?

Folks at mom's memory care fall all the time and my mom has fallen twice despite me having private aides with her 12 hours a day

She has fallen so many times often with me in the house with her or just a few feet away that urgent care questioned me 

Try to determine what is causing mom to fall - meds or balance or new problems with blood sugar or blood pressure

Once you know why she's falling you will be able to try and prevent further falls but sadly many elders either die or are placed in nursing homes from falls
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FloridaGal1960, let's think, if your Mom was living with a relative and falling all the time, would you get a lawyer?   Chances are no.   An elder can be sitting on the sofa napping, you run to the bathroom for two minutes, and lo and behold there is the elder on he floor.

I am sorry that your Mom is falling quite a bit, but that is what elders do, they can't help it.   The Assisted Living/Nursing Home can only do so much.

My Mom was in long-term-care and she was a climber.... her brain couldn't register that she was unable to walk much less stand.   So she would try to get out of her bed, her wheelchair and her geri-recliner.

My Mom was always falling, but I knew that was the nature of her illness.  The Staff was doing all they could under the State law.   They did put a seat-belt on her geri-recliner but 3 minutes later... click... Mom had that seat-belt off.
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There is an assisted living memory care center in my neighborhood, which we all have kind of "adopted"--and I know that the residents there are NOT restrained in their wheelchairs. I think, and this is just my opinion--that it's against the law to do so. A friend placed his wife there and she was slowly declining, and she did "forget" she couldn't walk w/o aid and she got up and fell from her wheelchair. This started the VERY rapid decline and she passed a week later. Her husband (who spent all day, everyday with her!) was not upset about it. The care there had been stellar and he knew that this was a possibility.
BUT----in another state, and under different circumstances--I don't know. You need to get all the facts, don't go in hot headed and angry. Without one on one caregiving and supervision, elderly people are going to fall.
You ready to take mom home and watch her? Trust me, if she's falling in an NH, she'll fall at home. Until Mother realized and truly accepted that she is never going to be stable or strong enough to walk more than a few feet without a walker, she also stopped falling.
Sounds like you need to spend more time with mom and observe things on your own. Maybe the place is very understaffed, Maybe they truly ARE not watching her. I would not jump immediately to blame the staff, most are very underpaid and overworked.
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