Man Chokes To Death While Left Unattended At Nursing Home

A coroner determined that a 77-year-old nursing home resident choked to death on his dinner, according to an Australian newspaper. The victim suffered from advanced dementia necessitating assistance with meals. Investigators determined that the nursing home attendant assigned to supervise him left the man unattended as he was eating his dinner. iStock_000002006603XSmall

Choking injuries and asphyxiation are real dangers amongst the elderly. Many nursing home residents suffer from dementia, impaired judgment, difficulty swallowing, and problems chewing food. It is the responsibility of the nursing home staff to identify those who may be at risk for choking.

If a nursing home resident has difficulty swallowing, the nursing home staff should provide soft foods, cut all food into small pieces and make sure the resident is in an upright position while eating. Most importantly, the nursing home staff must carefully monitor residents during mealtimes to prevent choking. Choking incidents may result in injury, medical complications and even death.

Mealtimes are when the nursing home residents are most reliant upon their caregivers.  It is imperative that residents are attended to by staff that are familiar with their needs and abilities.  Too often, high staff turnover and under-staffing leads to errors in care.  In order to avert disaster, the nursing home staff must monitor the type of food served and the amount consumed by each resident.

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After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric