When an elderly person is admitted to a nursing home, there are several periods of time that are higher-risk for injury than other periods. This phenomenon has been studied and documented by numerous researchers. One study by Doupe et. al. (2011) titled "Nursing Home Adverse Events: Further Insight to Highest Risk Periods" talked about some of these situations. For example, some of the highest-risk periods are:
-New residents account for a disproportionately high percentage of nonhip fractures and bedsores
-Hospitalized falls, hip fractures, and respiratory infections are most common immediately before resident death
-Skin ulcers are most likely for new nursing home residents coming from a hospital; this is independent of mobility
All in all, transition periods, either just being admitted to a nursing home or in the late stages of life immediately preceding death, are the high-risk periods for nursing home residents. New nursing home residents transferred from hospitals pose an even higher risk for some conditions. Applying this knowledge, if someone you know has been recently admitted into a nursing home, the first three months are critical to monitor for any changing conditions or health issues. If you feel that your loved one needs more care than they are currently being given by the nursing home staff, you may need to discuss changes in your relative's individualized care plan.
Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania lawyer specializing in nursing home abuse and negligence. For more information on his practice, please visit his website.