Monitoring food intake for patients, especially patients who are more prone to choking, is an important responsibility in nursing homes. Many elderly patients are on restrictive diets due to difficulty swallowing, which can result from cancer, neurological disorders, Alzheimer’s, and aging itself, and failure to acknowledge patients’ specialized medical needs can increase the risks of choking incidents and injuries. If your loved one has suffered a choking incident due to the nursing home’s negligence, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Trouble swallowing is somewhat common among elderly patients in nursing homes due to a range of conditions, as swallowing requires as many as fifty pairs of nerves and muscles working together. Common disorders which require restrictive diets and/or mealtime supervision include:
- Alzheimer’s disease – Many of these patients have trouble eating and swallowing, particularly those with late-stage Alzheimer’s.
- Cancer – Certain forms of cancer, as well as radiation treatment for cancer, can result in trouble swallowing food.
- Neurological damage/disorders – A variety of neurological conditions can result in trouble swallowing; these include strokes, brain injuries, multiple sclerosis (MS), muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease.
- Aging – General aging can wear down muscles in the throat regardless of particular physical or neurological conditions, and patients requiring restrictive diets or supervision should receive this care accordingly.
Patients who have trouble swallowing are typically examined by a physician upon being admitted to the nursing home and their specialized needs should be available on their charts for caregivers to see. The nursing home is responsible for ensuring that these medical orders are fulfilled and certain patients are properly supervised when eating, and when a patient suffers from a choking incident due to lack of supervision or violation of a restricted diet, the nursing home should be held accountable for the damages.
If your loved one has suffered a choking incident in a nursing home due to negligence, contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation. We are a personal injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, Agruss Law Firm, LLC is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.