Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in adults aged 65 and older, and nearly half of all nursing home residents fall each year. Falls can have dire consequences, especially for residents who already suffer from chronic ailments.
Falls can result in head injuries and broken bones. About one in every 10 nursing home residents who fall will have a serious injury, and 65,000 will suffer a hip fracture. In New Jersey, there are 30 fall deaths per 100,000 older adults every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Each year, falls cause:
- 3 million emergency department visits for older adults
- 800,000 hospitalizations
- 300,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures
- More than $50 billion in medical costs
Many falls in nursing home care settings are preventable. Excessive instances of falling may also indicate more serious issues with your loved one’s care. If your parent, spouse, or other loved one suffered a fall while in a nursing home, it could be because of negligence, wrongdoing, or even abuse. A Newark falls lawyer may be able to help you investigate your case. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 201-3999 to learn more.
Causes and Prevention
Weakened physical condition, impaired mobility, and conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s make residents particularly vulnerable to falling. Medication side effects, certain behaviors, like wandering, decreased balance, foot pain, and vision problems all can increase a resident’s risk of falling, too.
Nursing home staff are responsible for the state of the facility, and there are certain conditions to watch for and improve that could reduce the chance of falls. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), some environmental risks that may cause falls include:
- Cluttered living spaces
- Unstable furniture
- Poor lighting
- Uneven floors
- Spills and wet areas
- Unstable bed wheels
- Unstable wheelchair brakes
Staff can help prevent falls by making sure residents wear proper footwear and easy-to-manage clothing. Personal items should be kept where residents can easily reach them, and mobility assistance should be available when needed. Proper equipment and techniques should be used when moving residents.
If your loved one suffered a fall in their nursing home, it could be because of unsafe conditions or lack of care. In the worst cases, regular occurrences of falls and accidents could be signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. A Newark falls lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you find out who or what was responsible for your loved one’s fall, and they may be able to help you seek compensation. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation with a member of our team.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial. Neglect also is a form of abuse. Neglect happens when a nursing home fails to meet a resident’s basic needs for food, shelter, hygiene, and healthcare. Sometimes, neglect is the unintentional result of overworked or undertrained nursing home staff.
To prevent nursing home abuse, it is important for residents’ families to know the warning signs. In addition to frequent falls, other indications of abuse and neglect may include:
- Unexplained injuries, like cuts, bruises, and burns
- Malnourishment and dehydration
- Lack of hygiene, such as dental care and bathing
- A messy appearance, like dirty hair and clothing
- Lack of assistance toileting, or failure to change soiled disposable diapers
- Weight loss
- Changes in behavior, including signs of depression, acting withdrawn, acting violent and aggressive, difficulty sleeping, signs of trauma, and lack of interest in activities
In New Jersey, you can report abuse to the Department of Health, which regulates nursing home facilities. You can file a report online or call (800) 201-3999. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you witness abuse as it is occurring, or the situation is an emergency, call 911.
Abuse and neglect should be reported to nursing home administration. You should make a detailed, written, dated account of any incidents that may be abuse. You also can file the report with the local police, an agency that advocates against elder abuse, or adult protective services.
How Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we believe in being a voice for the most vulnerable members of our society.
When your loved one is injured in the care of a nursing home, it can be devastating. Their suffering is not your fault. Whether their injury was the result of negligence or wrongdoing and abuse, we can help you seek justice.
Our legal team can help you seek awards for your loved one’s medical costs, including hospital stays, medications, surgeries, and more, as well as for their pain and suffering. If your loved one dies because of injuries from a fall, you may be able to seek compensation for their wrongful death.
For a free legal consultation with a Newark Falls Lawyer serving Newark, call (800) 794-0444
Hiring a Newark Falls Lawyer Can Be Beneficial to Your Case
A Newark falls lawyer can help you through every step of your case, from filing your claims to representing you in court, if necessary. We can help you gather evidence to support your case, including medical records, eyewitness statements, and expert testimony. Let us help shoulder the legal burden so that you and your loved one can focus on healing.
Our primary goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. We work on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing out of pocket and nothing upfront. We only collect a fee if we win a successful settlement for you. To find out more, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 201-3999 for a risk-free consultation.