Head Injuries Caused By Nursing Home Abuse
According to an article published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries for adults over the age of 65. Traumatic brain injuries can have long term health consequences, particularly for elderly patients. Unfortunately, Industrial Safety and Hygiene News reports that up to 75 percent of nursing home residents fall each year, which is nearly double their counterparts who still live at home. Many of these falls could be prevented and may be the result of nursing home abuse or neglect. If you suspect a loved one’s recent fall in a nursing home was due to abuse or neglect and they have shown signs of a head injury, it is important you get them the appropriate medical attention and speak with a Tampa attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse.
Symptoms of a Head Injury
Brain injuries are harder to spot in elderly patients because some of the symptoms can be attributed to their aging. When a young football player walks off the field with a severe concussion, the coaches will likely notice the player’s coordination is off, that they cannot be in the bright lights of the field, and that they are struggling with memory. However, when an elderly resident in a nursing home struggles to walk or recall a nurse’s name, it is more likely to be seen as a normal decline in their overall health instead of a brain injury. Symptoms to be on the look out for include:
- Trouble concentrating;
- Sensitivity to light or noise;
- Loss of consciousness;
- Bruising or lacerations on the head;
- Short-term memory loss;
- Neck pain;
- Vomiting or sick stomach;
- Slowed reaction time;
- Changes in emotional state;
- Trouble with speech; and
- Altered or poor sleep.
Preventative Steps That Should Be Taken By Nursing Homes
Many nursing home residents already struggle to walk unaided. Nursing homes should ensure that residents have proper walking shoes, are given walkers or wheelchairs to aid their mobility as needed, and place mats over any areas that might be slippery. It is also important to have well-lit areas that are not cluttered with tripping hazards. Most importantly, nurses and staff must be attentive to the residents. If a resident is neglected and needs to go to the bathroom or get food, they may attempt to move in ways that are unsafe and subsequently fall.
A Tampa Attorney at Kohn Law Can Help
If you have a loved one in a nursing home who has fallen and suffered a brain injury, it is important you look into why they fell in the first place. If the fall was due to abuse or neglect, it is important that you file a personal injury claim to pay for the medical treatment necessary and to possibly move your loved one to a safer environment. A Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer can help you through the legal process and answer your questions. Contact a personal injury attorney at Kohn Law at 813-428-8504 to schedule your free consultation.