Families with elderly loved ones too often are told to have low expectations regarding an elder’s condition and care. “Falls are bound to happen,” they are told, “we can’t force mom to eat,” and “pneumonia is the old person’s friend.” For example, having been told their loved one died of “end-stage Alzheimer’s disease” in less than one year, many families are shocked to learn that on average, death from Alzheimer’s occurs over a period of five to seven years. Too often it is poor care that caused a loved one’s death.
Elders in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities or even at home under home health care can suffer many different kinds of injuries. But certain types of injuries seem to happen most often. These types of injuries are caused by a care provider’s repeated failure to provide basic, necessary care — failures that typically result from understaffing, poorly qualified staff, lack of training or inadequate supervision by management.