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My loved one fell in a nursing home. What should I do?

Wrightsville Beach residents with parents or other elderly loved ones in nursing homes worry about the care provided to them. Are they turned regularly in the bed to prevent bed sores? Are they eating right? What about falls?

When the elderly fall, it's a major medical event. They break hips, bruise extensively and suffer other injuries, but the most devastating consequence can be a brain injury.

In a perfect world, nursing home injuries would never occur, but in reality, residents are at risk for falling and suffering from life-threatening brain injuries. Some of the risk factors that can lead to injuries include:

-- Faulty equipment

-- Lack of bed rails to keep the elderly secure in their beds

-- Overmedicating residents, which can leads to an unsteady gait or a fall

-- Slippery floors

Brain injuries occur when the brain slams into the skull as a result of trauma. It is not always immediately apparent that someone has suffered a brain injury, making them even more deadly. Below are some common symptoms to spot if brain injury is suspected:

-- Cuts or bumps to the head

-- Confusion

-- Changes in mood

-- Loss of memory

-- Nausea

-- Headaches

-- Sensory difficulties

Brain injuries in the elderly population can accelerate both mental and physical declines. Your loved one could wind up with a blood clot in his or her brain, go into a coma and die. Even if the results are not as catastrophic, brain injuries can severely reduce mobility and quality of life for nursing home residents.

Loved ones can be advocates for senior citizens in nursing homes simply by visiting and being aware of any physical, cognitive or personality changes in the resident. In cases of suspected neglect or abuse, your observations are vital to the process of determining liability.

Nursing homes are known for stonewalling others from obtaining information about residents' injuries. It may be necessary to retain a personal injury attorney to learn the facts surrounding the incident through the discovery process.

Source: Disabled-world.com, "Brain Injury in Nursing Homes" Cullan & Cullan M.D., J.D., accessed Mar. 06, 2015

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Daniel Pleasant Holoman LLP

Daniel Pleasant Holoman LLP
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