As Pennsylvanians get older, new issues come to the forefront that are not of concern during their middle ages. They must worry about the physical limitations that come with old age and the potential need for assistance. One place that Pennsylvania residents can get the attention they need when they get older is at nursing homes. However, some may be hesitant to the idea of moving into a nursing facility, particularly when they see bad press about nursing home abuse or death.
A story involving such an incident in Pennsylvania was recently reported. A 94-year-old Pennsylvania woman was living at Golden Living Center. Her bed had rails. It is unclear what exactly happened, but she ended up suffocating because she got stuck in between her mattress and the rail. The facility claims that the incident was an accident. The woman's family has not commented on what happened.
Statistics regarding the use of bed rails in nursing homes reveal that they have been a known hazard in the industry for about 20 years. One expert explains that the hazards posed by bed rails are actually well-recognized -- especially for those in nursing homes who are small and cognitively impaired.
Pennsylvania law provides that when an assisted living center like a nursing home has knowledge of a particular risk, they may have a duty to their residents to take certain precautionary steps. When the center fails to carry out this duty, it may have legally breached its duty or be an instance of nursing home neglect.
This breach can give rise to recognizable legal claim. A Pennsylvania nursing home attorney can help explain how to proceed with such a lawsuit.
Source: Kentucky.com, "Woman, 94, dies when neck caught in nursing bed," Feb. 26, 2014