Cords from window blinds, drapes, and curtains are a hidden hazard in nursing homes across the country, particularly in memory units. Data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that, despite improved safety features, window coverings strangle dozens each year. In fact, by the numbers, window coverings remain one of the top five dangers in any residence.
Sadly, most deaths from window cord strangulation involve small children under five years old. Kids that age have difficulty understanding the inherent danger, and once entangled, often lack the motor skills to remove themselves until it’s too late. Still, many nursing home residents with dementia or other disabilities share the same vulnerabilities as children. As such, they are every bit as at risk. In fact, senior advocacy groups, like the Alzheimer Association, encourage “child-proofing” homes, facilities, and other locations in which Alzheimer’s Disease patients reside.
Does the resident of a nursing home have a claim when a strangulation occurs? Yes.
All nursing homes are required by law to provide an appropriate level of supervision to each resident. The amount of supervision increases for those residents suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, or other disabilities. In short, nursing home staff should watch residents so that they do not wander off and encounter such dangers. Providing appropriate supervision means being there to untangle the resident from the danger.
But perhaps more importantly, every long term care facility, particularly those receiving funding from Medicare, are required to prevent all avoidable accidents. This includes eliminating long cords. Industry standards for strings, beads, and pull cords located in nursing home facilities should be only as long as absolutely necessary. In most cases, less than a foot. This reduces the likelihood of avoidable accidents, including falls, entanglements, and strangulation.
So, if your loved one died after accidental strangling in a nursing home, you may have the right to bring a wrongful death claim against the facility. In Georgia, a wrongful death claim is a claim brought by survivors of the deceased resident for the full value of the life, loss of care, companionship, and other benefits. This claim is separate and apart from a claim by the estate of the deceased for pain and suffering prior to the death.
If your loved died after strangling on a window blind cord at a nursing home and you are wondering if you have a claim, then please, feel free to call and speak to one of our experienced Georgia nursing home abuse lawyers today. Our consultations are always free. If you would like more information about this topic, be sure to click on our other videos, or better yet, click the subscribe button to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thank you.