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Resident of Nursing Home Dies After Fall, Husband Claims Death Could Have Been Prevented

elderly fall

Gladys Gerlach, a former resident of Pleasant Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, suffered a fall at the Center in December of 2012. After that fall, Gladys went into cardiac arrest and experienced respiratory failure. She died the day following the fall. Pursuant to this tragic course of events, Gladys’ widower, a Mason County resident, has recently filed a lawsuit against Pleasant Valley for failing to properly monitor his wife’s condition after her fall; failing to provide a safe environment or proper supervision; and failing to tend to her basic food and hygienic needs, in compliance with both West Virginia and federal laws.

West Virginia’s Nursing Home Licensure Rule requires that staff members at nursing homes provide the highest quality of life possible for the residents. This includes providing activities for the residents that allow them to exercise both their physical and mental faculties, providing them with dignity and privacy whenever possible, and to attend to their basic activities of daily living, should residents be incapable of tending to these needs for themselves. These activities include helping the residents get around the facility, bathing and grooming, eating, and using the restroom. Nursing homes are also obligated to ensure that residents do not develop bedsores (also called pressure ulcers) unless they were unavoidable based on the resident’s condition, and that a resident is not catheterized except as a last resort. Failure to comply with these duties can subject West Virginia nursing home facilities to state administrative penalties or possible damages in a court case.

If a loved one or family member complains to you of abuse at the hands of nursing home staff, or if you see signs of neglect such as bed sores, dehydration, or malnutrition, it is important that you report these issues to state authorities who can investigate these matters and intervene. While your family member may be capable of reporting the abuse, there may be other residents who lack the capacity to tell others of the abuse they’re experiencing, and need someone to speak out on their behalf.

If you believe a loved one has been subjected to substandard care or abuse while a resident of a nursing facility or, worse, you believe a beloved parent or elderly relative died prematurely due to neglect or abuse while living in a nursing home or rehabilitation center, contact attorneys who can help ensure that the abuse does not go unrecognized or unpunished. Contact an experienced and compassionate nursing home abuse attorney at the Bayless Law Firm for a free consultation on your possible nursing home abuse or wrongful death claim, at 800-359-2356. With offices located in Princeton, West Virginia, we are available to assist with claims throughout the region, including Spanishburg, Montcalm, Beeson, Peterstown, and Northfork.

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