A resident of the the Asbury Garden facility died at age 86 on February 18, 2016 according to the Beacon News. According to the article, Elizabeth Theis died from a fatal fall at the North Aurora facility. In situations such as this, nursing home staff at the facility should have been aware of the resident’s high risk for falls.
According to the article, the facility failed to provide the high level of care that the resident required. The article reports that her injuries included: nasal and orbital fractures as well as a laceration on her forehead which required several stitches, and an overall decline in her physical and mental state.
Many times there are less visible symptoms of injury that can be just as serious. These can include functional decline, reduced quality of life, helplessness, and isolation. It is important to watch for these signs and ask your loved one if anything out of the ordinary has occurred.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed
Family members of the victim want to see that the nursing home is being held responsible. The family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The article reports:
“The complaint alleges Asbury breached its duty to Theis in many ways, including by failing to ensure nursing personnel evaluated her to ensure she received adequate supervision and assistance to prevent falls; failing to oversee a comprehensive assessment of Theis’ needs to determine fall risk; and failing to make an appropriate care plan to prevent falls.The complaint also states Asbury failed to appropriately train staff and follow its own policies and procedures for supervising residents.”
The nursing home or care facility’s job is to make these assessments, train their staff, and execute the necessary high level of care when a resident requires a high level of care. Examples of this would be: installing grab bars, reviewing prescriptions, and training nursing home staff.
The article also reports that this was not the first time the Asbury Garden Facility has been cited. The State of Illinois fined the facility for thousands of dollars for their failures. It states that:
“Illinois Department of Public Health records show the month prior to Theis’ death, Asbury Gardens was cited and fined $25,000 by the state for failing to supervise residents at high risk for falls, identify risks for falls, and prevent falls, resulting in ‘significant injuries.'”
This facility has not corrected its failure to protect its residents and yet another victim and their families has suffered. You should be aware of a nursing home’s history. When deciding upon a care facility for a loved one, it is important to look to see if they have a history of citations.
A resident fall can be a sign of other health problems the resident may have. People in nursing homes are generally frailer than older adults living in the community. They may have more chronic conditions, more difficulty walking, and need a higher level of care. They may also have thought or memory problems, need assistance with activities of daily living (things like getting dressed, grooming, and hygiene), or need help getting around.
All of these factors are linked to an increased risk for falls. It is a nursing home’s job to identify, assess, and respond to these risks to minimize the chance of a fall. When a nursing home does not do its job, and as a result, the resident is injured in a fall, the nursing home should be held accountable for the harm that results.
Does this scenario feel familiar to you? Have you or a loved one experienced something similar? Do you suspect that a care facility failed to protect them from a preventable fall? Please leave a comment below describing your experience, we want to hear from you. We want to hear your questions as well. If you have any questions about a loved one’s fall at a nursing home that resulted in serious injury, please leave a comment and we will get back to you.
You can read the full article here