Choking is a common occurrence in Nursing Homes. Nursing Homes and their staff have a duty under the standard of care to prevent an elderly resident from choking on his or her food. It can be prevented with proper care. Many nursing home residents have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/Dementia, Parkinson’s, and have suffered a prior stroke. These residents often suffer from dysphagia, or “difficulty swallowing.”
Upon admission, the Nursing Home has a duty to have the resident evaluated by a speech pathologist who can perform swallowing studies and a dietitian who may have to change the resident’s meals to “soft” or “pureed,” to prevent choking.
Evan Jones has prosecuted several choking cases in the past few years. Each time, the nursing home failed to place the resident on the appropriate diet. The resident choked on a piece of steak and asphyxiated. These deaths could have been prevented with proper care and proper speech and dieting evaluation.