Is the facility liable? - AgingCare.com

Is the facility liable?

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My mother has had a really rough last 3 months.She has had 2 strokes leaving her with extreme right side weakness.The last stroke was 6 weeks ago during the time my father was on hospice following a dx of stage 4 lung cancer.She was placed in rehab after discharge where she experienced several falls.She was transferred back to the hospital after being found unresponsive in her w/c in her room,CTs did not show any further stroke,however after this episode she has been pretty confused.She was moved back to the rehab after being discharged,spent a few days at the rehab and took another fall and was sent back to the hospital where she was treated for double pneumonia and had a PICC line placed for IV antibiotics and sent back to the rehab where she was placed in a room halfway down the hall from the nurses station.I had called the rehab and talked with the nurse and told her about the confusion nd her trying to get up while in the hospital and my brother spoke with them face to face.She had not been there 2 hours until we were receiving a call telling us that she was found on the floor in her room after slipping out of her wc. The nurse stated that they had pushed her in there after lunch(WHAT!! by herself).They then did nothing to prevent another fall in my eyes.She remained in the same room,they have no alarm system to alert staff to a pt. attempting to get up(magnetic alarm would be good). We have ordered one ourselves in an attempt to keep her safe,the staff have been told countless times to call us if they need us for anything including sitting with her.They have not once called us to come sit with her and they generally do not allow family to stay so we would not know unless they called.I said all this to say this that vey same day at 11:26 pm the nurse called me to let me know that my mom had been found in the bathroom on the floor of the shower.She had scrapes and bruises and could not lift her right arm.A xray the next morning showed she had fractured her right shoulder.So what are ya'lls opinion about possible liability on their part?

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I agree with ihopeithelps.
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They are defiantly liable for her repeated falls, especially if they did not take appropriate measures to prevent the fall. After every fall they should have had a meeting and decide a course of action to prevent further falls. Leaving her un attended, with out safety precautions is defiantly neglectful. Contact the ombudsman and public health to get them to take the issue seriously. I would also suggest looking for another facility. Preventing falls is often the main focus of most facilities, so if they are neglectful in this area, I would really be concerned about other issues such as hydration and skin break down. I wish your family the best you guys are going through a lot. God bless you all.
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Supervision is key whether it be child care or elder care. Today in our facility 5 staff were in the break room immediately following lunch (some residents were still finishing up). The others were helping patients elsewhere. Not one staff person in the community room overseeing the 10 people there. And they wonder why I filed a complaint?!@#$%^&
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Yep to vstefans!
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In response to "Husband", may I please have the name of the facility in MD where your wife is receiving good care? I have already reported one facility (when my cousin contracted MRSA), and certainly could use a recommendation. Thank you.
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With all the efforts we typicaly make even at a PEDIATRIC hospital to prevent falls, where relatively few patients have fragile bones, I can't believe this facility does so little and thinks it is OK. I am not a lawyer and can't tell you too much about the legal case you might have, but the Office of Long Term Care needs to know about this for sure, unless your use of the grievance procedure (which MUST be posted) is more satisfactory than I expect it is going to be. There are rules about unecessary restraints but as Husband noted above there are ways around this if you give two hoots about patient well-being.
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Regulations in CA and probably just about everywhere state that one of the jobs of a facility is to provide supervision for its residents. Certainly, the staff cannot be in each patients room but the common areas and corriders should be well staffed. If not, it is a violation of the regulations.

If you need to restrain a resident/patient please know they are not being tied up! Geeeze...that is alarmist language and its not true. There are seat belts that affix to a wheel chair ...there is a click clasp and velcro and most patients know how to undo these. The key of course is when/if they undo the belt an alarm sounds and staff should be at the ready (adequate supervision) to make sure the resident does not stand/fall.

Restraints in bed are referred to as soft restraints and can be used for medical reasons with doctors orders. the patent cannot leave the bed (many are in diapers anyway) but it provides enough freedom of movement to turn over on their sides during sleep.
By the time most magnetic alarms sound the patient is already on his/her feet so its hard to prevent a fall using this device.
You can search the internet for safe methods...lowered beds, padded floors etc.
Because of the adequate supervison piece the facility should be liable!
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My opinion is that they SHOULD be liable, since they were advised of her situation and did nothing to keep her secure!
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Our mom is 86, at home and presents a serious fall risk. She refuses to use the walker, won't remove throw rugs. Even in a nursing home, if the patient won't ring the button and wait for help, they will fall. You could have the MD order restraints, but that means tying her to a chair or bed.
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I've worked in rehab facilities, so I tend to sympathize with them. They are not allowed to restrain the patient and can't be there with them constantly. You are horrified that she was in her room by herself, but you are not paying for a private nurse, so I'm not sure what you expect them to do. I'm having the same issue at home with my Dad. He doesn't use the walker or the wheelchair on his own. I have to insist that he use them when I'm there, but I sleep and take showers. I'm not in the same room with him 24/7. I have a magnetic alarm on the front door, but he's too wild a sleeper to make an alarm on his clothing a workable solution. He falls sometimes, but never has more than a scraped knee or elbow. Maybe I have too casual an attitude, but I have to balance my abilities with his inabilities and realize that he will not live forever no matter what I do. If you need proof of that statement, try to imagine caring for your mother in your home for a week.
On the other hand, I agree with those who think you can do better as far as this rehab facility. You need 24 hour access to your Mother and that should be encouraged by any facility.
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