Traumatic Brain Injury: Evidence Of Nursing Home Neglect

Traumatic Brain Injury: Evidence Of Nursing Home Neglect

At Wilson & Parlett in Maryland, we understand how difficult it was for you to decide to admit your ill and/or aging parent to a nursing home. Although you realize you cannot provide the care (s)he needs, you nevertheless may feel guilty. You also likely worry that the nursing home may abuse or neglect him or her without your knowledge.

While the staffs at many nursing homes provide a high level of care to their residents, other facilities either cannot or do not. If you fear that your parent lives in one of these nursing homes, be particularly vigilant with regard to falls. Academic Life in Emergency Medicine explains that falls are the number one nursing home accident, and when elderly patients fall, they are at high risk for sustaining a traumatic brain injury.

TBI symptoms

If your parent falls, hitting his or her head in the process, (s)he could suffer a TBI that causes his or her brain to dysfunction. Depending on which part of the brain (s)he injures, and to what extent, the consequences could be catastrophic.

One of the most frightening aspects of a TBI is that while some symptoms can appear more or less immediately, others do not appear until days or weeks later. If you suspect that your parent fell recently, it is imperative that you watch closely for any of the following TBI symptoms (s)he may exhibit:

  • Increased speech problems
  • Increased cognition problems
  • Increased memory problems
  • Increased coordination problems
  • Increased anxiousness or depression
  • Increased crankiness, aggressiveness or combativeness

Causes of falls

The main cause of falls by nursing home residents is that they do not always get the assistance they need when they need or want to do something. For instance, if your parent is unsteady on his or her feet, (s)he likely will push the call light or buzzer when (s)he needs to walk to the bathroom. If no one responds, however, (s)he soon will become impatient and/or discouraged and decide to walk to the bathroom without any assistance. Even though the bathroom is only a few steps away, it may be too far for him or her to walk without falling.

While this scenario does not necessarily describe abuse, it is evidence of neglect. If your parent sustains a serious injury such as a TBI from this neglect, not only can his or her quality of life drastically decrease, but (s)he and you can face exorbitant medical costs.

For more information on this subject, please visit this page of our website.

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