Common Safety Issues in Nursing Homes

Older adults who reside in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities in Riverside County or elsewhere in Southern California should be able to expect that the facility where they live has taken sufficient safety precautions to prevent resident injuries. However, nursing homes throughout the state, and indeed across the country, often have safety issues that can result in resident injuries. Depending on the particular hazard, injuries can range from minor to severe. In many of these cases where an injury does occur, it may be possible to hold the nursing home accountable by filing a nursing home neglect claim. Our Riverside County nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys can assist you, and in the meantime, we can tell you more about common safety issues in Southern California nursing homes.

Fall Concerns

Nursing homes have a duty to ensure that their facilities are safe and do not prevent fall hazards, including those that could result in dangerous slips and falls or trips and falls. Common fall hazards, according to the AHRQ, include a lack of grip bars in bathrooms, slick flooring, torn or damaged carpeting, lack of handrails in stairwells, and liquid spills that go uncleaned.

Inadequate Staffing Numbers

California nursing homes have staffing requirements, yet according to a report in The Hill, about 80% percent of nursing homes indicate that they are understaffed, and severely so in many cases. Indeed, that report revealed that about 86 percent of nursing homes across the country had “moderate to severe staffing shortages” as of 2023, and nearly all were struggling to hire more staff members on a permanent basis. 

When nursing homes have inadequate staff, residents often receive inadequate care — particularly residents who require assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, and walking, as well as residents who require assistance taking necessary medications. Even though understaffing does not typically result in intentional acts of physical, psychological, or sexual abuse, understaffing can lead to severe patient harm as a result of passive neglect. In short, if nursing homes do not have enough staff members to attend to individual residents’ needs, those residents can suffer immensely.

Medication Safety Issues

Residents of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities often require a range of regular medications to keep certain conditions in check, as well as to effectively treat infections and other temporary medical issues. Yet, much too often, medication errors result in patient injuries.

According to a discussion in the National Library of Medicine, medication safety is one of the biggest concerns in nursing homes across the country, especially when residents have “multiple chronic conditions, ongoing symptoms, and acute problems.” Given that more than 90 percent of nursing home residents take five medications or more per day, mistakes can be common, and they can result in severe and deadly injuries. It is critical for nursing homes to ensure that patients are prescribed the correct medications and dosages, that the correct medications and dosages are filled and administered, and that medications do not present the risk of harmful interactions.

Contact a Riverside County Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney

If you are worried about an elderly loved one’s safety in a nursing home or assisted-living facility, or if you have a parent or other loved one who has suffered an injury at one of these facilities, an experienced Riverside County nursing home negligence lawyer can help. Contact the Walton Law Firm for assistance with your case.


See Related Blog Posts:

Staffing Shortages and Infection Control Measures Still a Problem in Nursing Homes

Study Cites California’s Poor Protections for Elderly Adults

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