Elder abuse and neglect is widespread in today’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The failure to prevent falls among the elderly is one of the most common examples of negligence in nursing homes. Many of the falls that cause death or serious injury among elderly nursing home patients are, in fact, preventable. Patients should be evaluated on neurological status, debilitating diseases, drug status, mental state, sensory deficits, history of falls, and age. If they are deemed at any risk for falls, homes and facilities should take extra precaution to prevent injury. An at-risk patient should be escorted to the bathroom or frequently offered the use of a bedpan, for instance. Failure to supervise elderly at-risk patients could result in falls with serious consequences. Every elderly patient is entitled to proper and attentive care, and the prevention of falls is a responsibility of every nursing home and health care facility.
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