Abuse and neglect happen far too often in a nursing home setting, as these patients don’t always have the cognitive or physical ability to stand up for themselves when they are mistreated. While there are many different types of elder abuse, choking is quite prevalent. Choking can involve a resident being choked or more commonly, a resident choking due to a caregiver’s failure to adhere to medical precautions. Whether it is choking or another form of nursing home abuse, it is important to learn more about the topic and be ready to intervene for your loved one if you suspect negligence or abuse.
The Risk of Choking in Nursing Homes
Just like a daycare, there are many precautions that must be taken in a nursing home or assisted living facility. An elderly person or one with dementia or physical limitations can face many dangers throughout their day. One of the most heightened dangers can occur at mealtime. While it may sound uncommon, choking is a major risk for elderly patients for many reasons, including the following:
- Swallowing difficulties (from stroke or neurological issues)
- Missing teeth
- Dry mouth from certain medications
- Food allergies or restrictions
- Potential for wrong medication given
The Responsibility of the Caregiver
Nursing home staff members have an important responsibility to keep elderly residents safe. This undoubtedly involves being aware of the special needs of each resident, including their medication needs and dietary needs. Something as simple as not cutting up food in small enough bites can result in choking and even death for a resident who has limitations with chewing and/or swallowing. In some cases, the elderly patient may need a speech therapist for feeding or swallowing guidance.
Whether it was a distracted caregiver or understaffed nursing home, neglecting to adhere to specific dietary restrictions and medication needs can leave the caregiver or nursing home under serious legal ramifications.
Contacting a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you suspect that your loved one has been mistreated or was neglected proper care in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is up to you to be their voice and take action. At the law office of Darrell T. Farr, we are fully equipped to handle cases of nursing home neglect and elder abuse, including those that involve choking. We welcome the opportunity to defend your claim, investigate the facts and help you receive the fair compensation you deserve.