About 5% of U.S. senior citizens reside in nursing homes and this number is likely to continue to increase. Those over the age of 65 are more likely to require care that can be provided by a nursing home or other care facility. Unfortunately, a disproportionate number of deaths occur each year due to falls. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), as many as 20% of deaths from falls in this age group (over 65 years old) occur at nursing homes.
This indicates that nursing homes may be responsible for some falls that could have been prevented. Nursing home falls are often the result of abuse or care neglect.
Why Are Falls So Common?
It is reported that about one-half to three-quarters of all nursing home patients fall every year. In fact, the number is probably low, because many falls may go unreported. Falls are very common among the elderly due to a number of reasons.
· Older people may have muscle weakness, making them unsteady on their feet.
· Walking with a cane or walker can be difficult.
· Those who utilize wheelchairs may have trouble accessing it.
· Some medications can make people drowsy or shaky · Nursing home patients may not get enough regular exercise · Elderly often require assistance moving around
Complications from Falls
The elderly suffer more harm from falls than younger people do. Their bones are more brittle and therefore may break more easily, even from a simple fall. Patients may try to catch themselves or may fall against something, sustaining more injury. Complications are very common in older patients. They do not heal as quickly and this can cause the injury to linger, subjecting them to infection. When a patient becomes immobile due to a fall injury, they are more likely to be susceptible to other illnesses, such as pneumonia. All of these things can make a routine fall turn into a fatality.
Improved Safety in Nursing Homes
Many falls can be prevented. The proper steps must be taken to ensure the safety of the nursing home patients. The correct supervision is one of the most important things that can be done to help prevent falls. Enough health care workers must be available to assist residents while they move about. Care must be taken to remove obstacles from walkways and plenty of room must be provided for people to walk around with walkers, wheelchairs, and canes. Workers must learn the correct method for moving patients so they do not facilitate a fall. The proper precautions need to be put into place for each patient’s needs.
Nursing Home Falls
When you place your loved one in a nursing home you trust that they will ensure that proper care is provided. When a fall occurs, it is important to learn the circumstances that surrounded the event. All too often, the nursing home may place blame on the resident, rather than taking responsibility themselves. Additionally, the patient may be embarrassed and does not want to draw attention to the situation. Take the time to investigate exactly how the fall occurred. Get help immediately from a law firm that specializes in nursing home abuse. Contact the experienced attorneys at Levin & Perconti today.
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