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Understanding Why Falls Happen in Nursing Homes

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As people age, they often move into nursing home facilities to receive the full-time care they need, and that their family members cannot provide. Certain conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis, place an elderly individual at a greater risk of falling. Falls sustained by nursing home residents are very serious, as they are a leading cause of death among people over the age of 65. It is crucial for all nursing home residents and their loved ones to understand why falls happen in nursing homes, and when to hold the staff members responsible for them.

Why Falls Happen in Nursing Homes

Elderly individuals fall for a number of reasons, regardless of whether the accident occurs in a nursing home or not. The health conditions elderly individuals suffer from can make it difficult to perform simple tasks, such as getting out of bed or brushing their hair. The challenge of performing these tasks can lead to a fall. Additionally, elderly individuals may also suffer from mobility or vision issues, or may become disoriented, which results in a fall.

In a nursing home, staff members should always be vigilant to ensure that residents do not fall. Unfortunately, because nursing homes are so notoriously understaffed, there are often not enough staff members to monitor residents properly and keep them safe. This increases the risk of residents falling. Understaffing is never an excuse for injuries residents sustain, including those that result from falls. When staff members do not provide the high standard of care that is required in nursing homes, they can be held liable for any negligent action they took.

Preventing Falls in Nursing Homes

Nursing home staff members are required to take many steps to avoid falls and other accidents from occurring. The best ways to prevent falls in nursing homes are as follows:

  • Use appropriate screening and training techniques when hiring new staff
  • Maintain a low staff-to-resident ratio
  • Equip common areas as well as private rooms with no-slip treads
  • Ensure residents that need assistive walking devices, such as canes and walkers, have access to them
  • Properly supervise the residents at all times
  • Equip different areas of the nursing home with grab bars and railings
  • Provide residents with additional support when they are taking part in high-risk activities, such as getting in and out of bed
  • Provide regular health check-ups and treatment for conditions that place an elder at risk, such as osteoporosis
  • Ensure all residents wear proper footwear at all times
  • Maintain proper lighting and flooring
  • Ensure floors are clean and free of obstacles at all times

When nursing home staff members fail to take these measures to keep residents safe, they can be held accountable for their negligent actions.

Our Florida Nursing Home Abuse/neglect Lawyer can Help with Your Case

Falls are very serious accidents when they happen to nursing home residents. If your loved one has been injured in a fall and you suspect it was due to someone’s negligence, our Tampa nursing home abuse/neglect lawyer at Kohn Law can help with your case. Call us today at (813) 428-8504 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Resource:

cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6718a1.htm

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