Elder Abuse Attorneys Assist Victims of Nursing Home Falls
Every year, approximately 1,800 seniors living in nursing homes die due to injuries sustained in falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among survivors, injuries often result in permanent disability and a lower quality of life.
Seniors living in nursing homes fall at double the rate of other seniors. Nursing home residents represent only about 5 percent of Americans over the age of 65, but they account for 20 percent of fatal falls among people of that age group. As many as 75 percent of nursing home residents fall each year, and approximately 10 to 20 percent of those falls result in serious injuries, CDC reports. In many of those cases, elder abuse attorneys initiate litigation to secure rightful compensation for victims and their families.
What Causes Falls in Nursing Homes?
Seniors who fall in nursing homes generally are more frail than individuals living in the greater community, and they often have chronic health problems and trouble walking. They also may have issues with memory and cognition. In addition, a number of conditions present in nursing homes can cause or exacerbate falls:
• Wet or slippery floors.
• Insufficient lighting.
• Incorrect heights of beds and seating.
• Wheelchairs that are improperly maintained or are ill-fitting.
• Poorly fitting shoes, improper use of mobility aids and/or poor foot care might cause residents to experience difficulty moving from one place to another.
Nursing homes should have care plans in place that address recommended interventions for residents who are at an increased risk of falling, Annals of Long Term Care notes. Interventions may include medication assessments, use of sitters, use of alarms for beds and chairs, and environmental changes such as improvements to lighting and a reduction of clutter.
What Should Happen After a Fall?
Nursing homes should conduct assessments after falls to decrease the risk of their future occurrence and subsequent related injuries. The steps to be taken should include:
• The nursing staff should evaluate the resident’s injuries.
• The resident’s injuries should be treated appropriately.
• The resident’s family members and physicians should be notified.
• A detailed incident report about the fall should be completed.
• Appropriate updates should be made to the resident’s care plan.
Contact Experienced Elder Abuse Attorneys
If your loved one has been injured in a nursing home fall, seek assistance from qualified, compassionate, elder abuse attorneys. Contact Garcia & Artigliere, or call (800) 328-2630.