Fall-related injuries are a major health concern to nursing home residents. Every year about 1,800 older adults living in nursing homes die from fall-related injuries, and many more incur serious injuries like broken bones, fractured hips and severe bruising.
Between 50% and 75% of nursing home residents over the age of 65 fall each year, at twice the rate of falls of older people who do not live in nursing homes. Even though only about 5% of adults 65 and older live in nursing homes, nursing home residents account for about 20% of deaths from falls. Families send their loved ones to nursing homes with the hope and confidence that they will be better cared for than if they were to remain living on their own, however these rates hint at the fact that more precautionary measures must be taken in nursing homes to ensure resident safety.
Falls in nursing homes cause not only physical pain and embarrassment, but they can result in disability, decline of functional capacity and reduced quality of life. The simple fear of slip and fall accidents are known to cause depression, feelings of helpless and social isolation.
The two main causes of slip and fall accidents in nursing homes are weakness or gait problems, and environmental hazards. Other causes are wet floors, poor lighting, incorrect bed height, improperly maintained wheelchairs, medications (mostly sedatives), insufficient staff, inadequate call and assist buttons, poor lighting and clutter.
There are many things that nursing home staff and owners can do to help prevent falls. Firstly, upon admission to the nursing home every resident should be required to undergo a fall risk assessment. Based on the results of the assessment each resident should have an individualized care plan designed to best protect them. This plan should be reviewed and modified on a regular basis to match the stages of their health.
Nursing home slip and fall injuries occur frequently, and it can be difficult to determine whether or not the nursing home owner or employees are guilty of negligence. If you or a loved one has been incurred a fall-related injury, you should contact an experienced attorney to discuss whether or not you have a case, and to formulate a plan to get you the compensation you deserve. If you suspect negligence, again, contact a nursing home injury lawyer in Alabama to take legal action immediately. Protect your loved ones, existing residents and future residents from harm.