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Factors That Cause Injuries To Dementia Patients In Nursing Homes

Factors That Cause Injuries To Dementia Patients In Nursing Homes

by Jeffrey Downey, Esq.

Since demented patients often lack safety awareness, they are at increased risk for injuries in nursing homes, including falls and other adverse outcomes, like pressure wounds and infections. Caring for elderly individuals suffering from dementia in nursing homes, particularly in Virginia, extends far beyond mere staffing issues. While the numbers and qualifications of staff play a pivotal role, recent studies from the University of California, Irvine studies emphasize the necessity of a multifaceted approach to ensure the safety and well-being of these vulnerable residents. This article explores the factors contributing to the risk of injuries in nursing homes.

Understanding the Impact of Staffing and Training Dynamics

The correlation between staff numbers and the quality of care in nursing homes is undeniable. A poorly executed hiring process and a shortage of qualified personnel are fundamental issues that can cause harm to patients. . Care gaps emerge when homes fail to employ adequately trained individuals or do not meet the staffing demands of high-needs residents. These gaps can manifest as delayed emergency responses or inadequate monitoring, escalating the risk of falls and other preventable accidents.

However, as highlighted in a recent study from the University of California, Irvine, published on January 8, 2024, merely increasing staff numbers falls short of addressing the care quality disparities. The study, which garnered attention in SCIENMAG, underscores the need for specialized training, an easily navigable environment, and staff stability to adequately cater to residents with dementia.

The Critical Role of Specialized Training

Studies emphasize that dementia patients require more than routine physical care. They need empathetic understanding and specialized handling, attainable through proper training and experience. Increasing staff numbers without equipping them with necessary training is insufficient. The lack of training can lead to improper handling of patients, mismanagement of medication, and a decline in overall care quality.

The Journal of Health Services clarifies that increased staffing alone is insufficient to provide quality care to our loved ones in skilled care facilities. Understaffing nursing homes increases the risk of injury to patients due to adverse events like pressure wounds, falls, fractures, elopements, medication errors, infection (sepsis), and wrongful death. With an increasing population of demented patients, staff members need specialized training to meet the high acuity needs of long-term care patients.

Physical and Mental Challenges of Dementia Patients

The vulnerability of elderly dementia patients significantly contributes to the high risk of injuries in nursing homes. These individuals often face a combination of physical limitations and mental deterioration, making them particularly susceptible to accidents. Their frailty can result in falls, while cognitive impairments can lead to confusion and misinterpretation of their surroundings, increasing the likelihood of harm. Conditions like Alzheimer’s disease further complicate their care, often leading to behavioral changes, memory loss, and difficulty in following instructions.

Effects of Chronic Fatigue and Stress on Staff

The demanding nature of caring for dementia patients, long hours, and high responsibilities can lead to staff burnout. Overworked and stressed staff are more likely to make errors, overlook critical patient needs, and have slower response times to emergencies. This high-pressure environment can also erode the empathy and patience essential in caring for dementia patients. Suing the nursing home needs you to find a Virginia nursing home attorney to gather evidence and file a lawsuit.

Legal Recourse and Advocacy

In cases where a loved one with dementia sustains injuries in a nursing home due to these factors, legal recourse is available. The Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey prosecutes nursing homes and assisted living facilities for the neglect and abuse of elderly patients. Seeking the assistance of a nursing home attorney is crucial for investigating the case and fighting for due compensation. In discovery attorney Downey obtains important training information which can help support general, administrative negligence.

High-quality nursing home dementia care demands a comprehensive approach beyond adding staff. Specialized training, an accommodating environment, and maintaining staff stability are crucial in addressing the unique challenges posed by dementia patients. As the elderly population grows, and with it, the number of individuals with dementia, these considerations become increasingly vital in ensuring their safety and dignity in nursing home care settings.

This recent article from the Journal of Health Services makes clear that increased staffing alone is not enough to provide quality care to our loved ones in skilled care facilities, explains nursing home attorney Jeffrey J. Downey. We already know that understaffing nursing homes increase the risk of injury to patients for adverse events like pressure wounds, falls, fractures, elopements, medication errors, infection (sepsis) and wrongful death. With an increasing population of demented patients, staff members need specialized training to meet the high acuity needs of long-term care patients, explains Downey.

The Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey prosecutes nursing homes and assisted living facilities for the neglect and abuse of elderly patients. Contact our office today for a free consultation. You will speak directly to an attorney, always.
We handle cases in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C.

Email: jdowney@jeffdowney.com
Phone: 703-564-7318

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