Memory Care Falls

Written By: Kenneth LaBore | Published On: 3rd February 2017
Alzheimer's Dementia Memory Care Falls

Alzheimer’s Dementia Memory Care Falls

Memory Care Falls Result in Part Due to Lack of Training

Falls in memory care and other elder care facilities are common occurrences.  The resident’s usually have Alzheimer’s or dementia and are prone to confusion and many are able to ambulate which leads to a higher risk of falls.  Due to osteoporosis and other age related issues falls lead to very serious many leading to death.  The irony is that despite the lack of regulation and training many memory care providers charge premium prices and often exceed the expense for rehabilitative care and skilled nursing in a traditional nursing home.

You may think that many memory care providers are providing cares similar to a nursing home.  This assumption is reasonable when you seen literature talking about “nursing services in a home like environment”.  What this means is that you are renting an apartment or room and that you are subcontracting for home care services to be provided at that location.  The staff at the memory care provider needs no special credentials as they are not considered nursing aides.  They need only limited training and the limited disclosures to tenant families.  According to Minnesota Statute 325F.72. Written disclosure shall include, but is not limited to the following:

(1) a statement of the overall philosophy and how it reflects the special needs of residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias;
(2) the criteria for determining who may reside in the special care unit;
(3) the process used for assessment and establishment of the service plan or agreement, including how the plan is responsive to changes in the resident’s condition;
(4) staffing credentials, job descriptions, and staff duties and availability, including any training specific to dementia;
(5) physical environment as well as design and security features that specifically address the needs of residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias;
(6) frequency and type of programs and activities for residents of the special care unit;
(7) involvement of families in resident care and availability of family support programs;
(8) fee schedules for additional services to the residents of the special care unit; and
(9) a statement that residents will be given a written notice 30 days prior to changes in the fee schedule.

According to Minnesota Statute 144D.065 (a)(2), direct-care employees must have completed at least eight hours of initial training on topics specified under paragraph (b) within 160 working hours of the employment start date.  The specialized training under paragraph (b) includes:

(b) Areas of required training include:

(1) an explanation of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders;
(2) assistance with activities of daily living;
(3) problem solving with challenging behaviors; and
(4) communication skills.

As you can see the training for specialized memory care staff is very limited and does not include any medical training what-so-ever.  The lack of training with many resident which have limited mobility and other medical and physical issues leads to many forms of preventable injuries including falls.

Memory Care Falls

There are many types of falls which occur in memory care facilities.  The residents need to be supervised to assure they do not wander or elope from the facility, fall down stairwells, slip out of chairs or wheelchairs, fall from beds or in the bathroom off the toilet or in the shower.

Common injuries from falls in memory care facilities include, head injuries, including subdural hematomas, pelvic and hip fractures, fractured femur and other limbs.

Reporting Memory Care Falls

Pursuant to Minnesota Statute 144.7065, Subd. 1., each facility shall report to the commissioner the occurrence of any of the adverse health care events described in subdivisions 2 to 7 as soon as is reasonably and practically possible, but no later than 15 working days after discovery of the event. The report shall be filed in a format specified by the commissioner and shall identify the facility but shall not include any identifying information for any of the health care professionals, facility employees, or patients involved. The commissioner may consult with experts and organizations familiar with patient safety when developing the format for reporting and in further defining events in order to be consistent with industry standards.

The statute goes on in Subd. 5, to state that it is required for the facility to report patient death or serious injury associated with a fall while being cared for in a facility.

Attorney for Memory Care Falls

If you have questions about fall injuries or other forms nursing home abuse and neglect contact Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation.  There is no fee unless there is a verdict or settlement offer from the wrongdoer.  Mr. LaBore can be reached directly at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.

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