Long-Term Care Home Choking Incidents: Legal Support & Guidance

Choking incidents are a concern, especially for elderly residents who might struggle with swallowing food in a long-term care home. Many residents experience choking because they aren’t closely supervised, don’t receive proper guidance, food isn’t prepared correctly, or if there’s limited access to emergency assistance.

According to Injury Facts, choking is the fourth highest cause of unintentional injury deaths. It’s important to provide training for staff  to raise awareness about the risks of choking. This training helps prevent such incidents and ensures the safety of the residents.


Why do elderly residents have a higher risk of choking?

Eating and swallowing can be more challenging for elderly residents in long-term care homes. Some factors which may make it more difficult for elderly residents include:

  • Loss of teeth
  • Throat structure changes
  • Weak tongue and swallowing reflexes
  • Health issues affecting cognitive function

Some medical conditions often seen in long-term care home settings may disrupt a person’s ability to chew and swallow food properly. When these challenges are combined with inappropriately trained and/or inadequate  staff, and/or improper feeding policies,   it can lead to unfortunate and tragic outcomes. 

If your family member experienced a wrongful death due to long-term care home choking, reach out to Advocai LLP for a complimentary consultation. 


Who’s Liable?

Elderly residents who have health issues such as dementia, stroke, and other neurological diseases, may be at a higher risk of choking. These residents may require specific assessment, intervention, and supervision when eating to prevent choking incidents. 

In fact, long-term care home staff should take steps to ensure that  these elderly residents are  properly assessed. They have a duty to ensure that  there is a plan of care in place that addresses any safety issues when it comes to a resident’s eating and drinking.  The long-term care home staff must follow the resident’s plan of care, which may include providing specific food texture, feeding strategies and techniques. 

They must closely monitor those residents at risk of choking, and assist with medication intake and meals. 


How Advocai LLP Can Help You 

It’s unacceptable for someone to die from choking on food in a long-term care home.You should contact a lawyer right away if you or your loved one has been injured as a result of choking. It may also be appropriate to report the choking incident to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Medical Law

Advocai LLP currently represents family members of residents in long-term care and retirement homes. We are thoroughly examining all potential actions regarding neglect, abuse, and wrongful death within these facilities throughout Ontario.

Feel free to reach out to us for a complimentary consultation regarding a potential lawsuit related to negligence in long-term care.

Advocai Contact Form