Falls are the number one cause of injuries to senior citizens and many of these falls occur in nursing homes. While nursing facilities are supposed to provide proper care, many times they fail to adequately supervise and assist residents. Falls can cause severe injuries and may lead to a health decline which may result in a resident’s death. When a resident suffers a serious injury because of inadequate supervision, the nursing home is likely responsible for neglect.
Risk Factors for Falls in Seniors
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, there are a number of risk factors for falls in older individuals. Nursing homes and others need to be aware of the risks to each patient so that they may provide proper care and supervision.
Some of the most common risk factors for falls include:
- Balance or Walking Problems
- Weakness or Poor Muscle Strength
- Use of Medications
- Problems with Vision
- Pain in Feet or Limbs
- Deficiency of Vitamin D
- Hazardous Floor Conditions
When an older person has one or more of these risk factors they should be monitored more closely to prevent them from falling.
Injuries Due to Falls
Falls can cause very serious injuries to older individuals. Broken bones are a very common result of falling in senior citizens. As we age our bones become thinner and more brittle. Hip fractures are among the most serious injuries from falls. Hip fractures often require surgery and a long and difficult recovery and rehabilitation time. Head injuries are also very serious. A hard blow to the head can cause a traumatic brain injury, TBI. An older individual with a severe fracture or head injury may have a very hard time healing.
Prevention of Nursing Home Falls
It has been estimated that about half of all nursing home patients will experience a fall at some point during their stay. Nursing home falls can and should be prevented. There are some ways that falls can be prevented. Each resident needs to be thoroughly evaluated and reviewed for the risk factors for falls. Residents who are at a higher risk for falling should be more closely monitored. Nursing homes must provide enough staff to adequately supervise all the patients who require it. A plan should be put into place for every resident. The plan should include details regarding how much supervision is necessary. Staff must be properly trained to care for patients who require assistance.
Reporting Nursing Home Falls
Nursing home falls are often unreported. Those who have loved ones in nursing homes should be watchful for signs of neglect. For example, take note of any unexplained bruises that appear on your loved one. Falls must be reported and the resident needs to be medically evaluated to diagnose any injuries. Those who were victims of nursing home neglect or their relatives may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other damages caused by the neglectful care. Contact the experienced legal team at Levin & Perconti to discuss your case.
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