Making the decision to move a loved one to a nursing home is never an easy decision to make, but for many people, they make this choice because they feel it’s what’s best. They believe that the nursing home staff will provide the utmost care for their loved ones and do all that they can to protect them. And while some elderly nursing home residents are well taken care of, alas, there are also many who are not as fortunate. They may be victims of abuse or neglect. When proper precautions aren’t put in place and nursing home residents are neglected, they could easily fall. Anyone who falls can be injured, but because the elderly tend to be much frailer and at risk for serious injury resulting from a fall, there is simply no excuse for these falls in nursing homes to ever happen.
Even though proper measures should be put into place to ensure that these falls never occur at all, they are actually very common. One state study revealed that nearly half of all nursing home residents fall at least once during their stay, and this type of accident is one of the most commonly reported.
There are several reasons why nursing home residents fall so frequently. Some common causes of falls in nursing homes include:
- Environmental dangers, such as poor lighting and wet floors, which cause anywhere from 16 to 27 percent of all falls in nursing homes
- Improperly fitted or maintained wheelchairs
- Medications that cause drowsiness
- Incorrect bed height
- Muscle weakness and/or walking difficulties, which account for approximately 24 percent of all falls in nursing homes
- Memory problems, which may result in wandering, especially during late hours
Most causes of nursing home falls can be prevented if staff members take proper precautions and follow protocol to ensure the safety of their residents. Environmental dangers should be spotted, reported, and fixed right away. All nursing home residents should ensure that the items they use daily, like wheelchairs and beds, are fitted properly and don’t put them at risk of falls. Overall, nursing home residents should be carefully monitored at all times, especially those who have problems with mobility, memory, and those who are on certain medications. If nursing home staff can help residents with where they need to go, or prevent them from wandering in the first place, most of these falls can be prevented. When nursing home staff members neglect to carefully watch over residents, then they are vulnerable to these types of accidents.
The statistics surrounding falls in nursing homes are alarming and eye-opening. While only two to six percent of nursing home falls result in bone fractures, anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of all nursing home injuries still cause some type of serious injury. It has also been reported that these falls can often be fatal, with approximately 1,800 nursing home residents dying each year due to falling. Those who do not die as a result of their injuries are often left traumatized mentally and may have lasting physical injuries from the situation, with reports revealing that these residents often suffer from social isolation, depression, and feelings of helplessness as a direct result of the incident.
If you have a loved one who sustained an injury from a nursing home fall, you may be experiencing a wide range of emotions, and rightfully so. If you’re already working with an attorney on a nursing home lawsuit, you may be wondering when you can expect everything to finalize and when a settlement will be reached. At USClaims, we may be able to make it easier for plaintiffs to receive money sooner through a process known as pre-settlement funding. Contact us today to learn more and to get started!