Falls in Nursing Homes May be a Sign of Negligence

Falls in nursing homes occur far more often than many people realize. When we are talking about frail, elderly people the effects can be devastating and even life-threatening.

Figures from Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal up to 75 percent of elderly nursing home residents fall at least once a year.

Many residents have conditions that mean they are more likely to fall. These include:

  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Impaired hearing
  • Problems with peripheral vision
  • Diabetic neuropathy.

The CDC says as many as one in five falls in a nursing home can lead to a serious injury. The figures raise questions about nursing home liability.

Can a Nursing Home be Held Liable for a Fall?

Each year scores of nursing homes are held liable for falls. Often falls are an indicator that elderly people are not adequately supervised or there is a staffing or oversight problem at a nursing home.

The Nursing Home Abuse Center states on its website.

“A well-run and effective nursing home should be able to prevent the majority of these incidents. It’s imperative for nursing home staff members to be attentive at all times, especially to patients who suffer from physical disabilities and cognitive impairments such as dementia.”

A failure to provide residents with proper footwear or walking aids, can contribute to falls.

Some nursing homes and residential facilities fail to remove fall hazards. Wet floors, cluttered hallways, obstacles or a lack of safety equipment in a bathroom and poor lighting can lead to a fall.

Falls in nursing homes can be a symptom of patient neglect and failures. These can include:

  • A failure to properly evaluate patients for potential falling risks.
  • A failure to educate nursing staff in fall prevention programs.
  • The failure of a nursing home to modernize or create features that minimize the risk of falls.
  • A failure of a nursing home to ensure the safe mobility of patients who are at high risk for falling.
  • The failure to maintain clean, light and safe premises.

If your elderly relative is in a nursing home, you will want the best for them. Falls can be a red light. In the case of a serious injury, a home may be at fault. Contact us at (757) 455-0077.

Griff O'Hanlon


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