Falls are the number one cause of injuries among the elderly. According to the CDC, Centers for Disease Control, older individuals suffer serious injuries due to falls although most falls are preventable. Falls in nursing homes are certainly disconcerting because residents are supposed to be kept safe from harm. When a fall occurs, it is likely due to negligence on the part of the nursing home management or staff. In one recent case, a woman filed a lawsuit against the nursing home where she resided alleging that they were negligent after she suffered serious injuries from a fall. The lawsuit was filed against Glenwood Healthcare & Rehab Inc. in Glenwood, IL.
Injuries from Falls
Falls can lead to severe injuries in the elderly. Scrapes, bruises, and broken bones are very common injuries that result from falls. One of the most serious types of injuries is a hip fracture. A hip fracture may necessitate surgical treatment and has a lengthy recovery time. Head trauma is also a serious concern for the elderly. Older individuals take a longer time to heal and while healing they may encounter other difficulties or complications that cause a health decline.
Unfortunately, when injuries occur to older individuals they very often lead to serious complications. The immune system of elderly people is often less able to handle stress and infection and this can make it difficult to heal after an injury. Broken bones can require surgery, which will significantly reduce mobility and may lead to complications such as pressure sores and pneumonia. Many older people face multiple medical difficulties after suffering from serious falls.
Prevention of Falls
Falls are preventable. Nursing homes need to be particularly vigilant in keeping their residents safe and preventing them from falling. Adequate supervision is one of the best ways to avoid falls. Patients often require assistance in walking and in taking care of their daily functions. When there is inadequate staffing, patients may try to stand or walk even if they are unsteady. This creates a dangerous situation and greatly increases their risk of injuries. The safety of residents should be a top priority for care facilities.
When a fall occurs in a nursing home it is almost always a sign of neglect. The nursing home is required to provide proper care according to the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. There are a number of reasons why adequate supervision is not provided. The nursing home may be understaffed, the staff may be improperly trained, or the management may not be unsatisfactory. Regardless of the reasons, nursing homes are responsible for the health and safety of their residents. In this case, the woman fell several times and sustained serious physical injuries including a broken nose and abrasions. Had the woman been properly monitored the injuries would not have occurred.
The woman luckily survived her injuries and recovered. However, many victims never fully recover or begin a downward health slide that results in their death. If you or a loved one were the victim of nursing home neglect call the compassionate lawyers at Levin & Perconti to discuss your case.
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