A serious form of elder neglect or abuse that may occur while in the care of another is choking. Choking incidents can occur in assisted living facilities as well as nursing homes. The National Safety Council has ranked choking as the fourth most common cause of unintentional injury death. It is also important to note that of the 5,051 people who died from choking injuries in 2015, 56% of them were older than 74.
There are a few different reasons that the elderly population is at a greater risk of suffering a choking injury than the average person. One reason is called dysphagia, and it is associated with aging. Dysphagia refers to a difficulty with swallowing that is age-related. It is thought to occur due to a loss of muscle strength in a person’s mouth and throat, which makes it difficult for them to swallow hard or dry foods.
Elderly individuals may also be at a higher risk than the average person for suffering a choking-related injury since they are more likely to be suffering from a degenerative disease that impacts their ability to swallow. One example of such a disease is Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, elderly individuals may also experience frequent dry mouth as a result of taking certain required medications. This may make them more susceptible to choking injuries.
Dentures, which are more commonly found in elderly individuals, can cause problems inside the mouth and lead to difficulty swallowing. Stroke survivors may also have a higher risk of suffering a choking injury due to the muscles that are affected when a person suffers a stroke.
Elderly caregivers and nursing home staff members should be well-informed of the early signs and symptoms of a choking incident. These common indicators include:
Choking injuries can have serious, life-changing consequences, including death. A choking injury can cause serious brain damage as a result of the oxygen that has been cut off from the brain. It is vital for caregivers for the elderly to take precautions to protect nursing home residents from suffering choking injuries.
One major reason that choking injuries often happen in nursing homes is because of an inadequate number of staff available to provide proper care to the residents. Other reasons include insufficient training and inexperience in nursing home staff members. Choking incidents that happen for these reasons often occur as a result of negligence on the part of the assisted living facility or the nursing home.
With multiple offices throughout California, The Peck Law Group’s elder neglect attorneys can you assist you with your case, including (but not limited to):
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a choking incident as a result of someone else’s negligence, including the negligence of a nursing home or assisted living facility, you may be able to collect compensation. Contact the attorneys at The Peck Law Group today to schedule a consultation to discuss your potential choking case.
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