Elderly adults have a much higher risk of falling and injuring themselves for many reasons. Nursing home residents should receive proper attention and monitoring to ensure that they do not suffer any preventable falls, which could result in the need to go to the emergency room, surgery, medical complications, or even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) some falls in nursing homes happen because of environmental hazards. Environmental hazards usually represent preventable causes of accidents, and if your elderly loved one suffered a fall due to an environmental hazard, it may have resulted from nursing home negligence.
Examples of Environmental Hazards
Environmental hazards in a nursing home refer to those obstacles or dangers present in the common areas or personal areas of a facility that cause residents to stumble, trip, and fall. Some examples of environmental hazards include slippery floors, debris in walkways, improperly fitted or improperly maintained wheelchairs, poor lighting, improperly marked exit signs, loose rugs, faulty bed rails, beds at incorrect heights, and broken equipment. Caregivers should address these hazardous conditions to avoid any trips, slips, or falls attributed to an environmental hazard.
Injuries Resulting from Environmental Hazards
When any person suffers a fall, they may experience bruising, a fractured or broken bone, or possibly additional internal damage, depending on the severity of the fall. When an elderly person suffers a fall due to an environmental hazard, they may face permanent physical and emotional challenges.
Physically, if an elderly senior falls in the nursing home, they may have to immediately go to the emergency room and even receive surgery if they suffer internal injuries or bleeding. Additionally, some seniors may lose even more mobility or may even need to remain in bed. Bone breaks or fractures in elderly persons often lead to overall health decline since these seniors remain unable to move or function normally, which can lead to additional medical complications and more health issues. Bedsores can result from elderly residents that suffer from a fall and then remain bedridden. Many of the medical complications following a fall from an environmental hazard can involve life-long and permanent injuries.
These additional physical limitations, which often include pain and suffering, can have an emotional effect on nursing home residents as well. When an elderly person loses the ability to move independently, has a decline in muscle or physical function, and has an overall decline in health, they oftentimes also begin to suffer from depression or anxiety. They may feel anxious that they will fall again and develop a phobia regarding walking or moving about the nursing home. In other cases, some residents unable to walk develop serious depression regarding even more physical limitations placed on them as they age.
Environmental Hazards and Nursing Home Neglect
A well-run nursing home should prevent the majority of falls related to environmental hazards. Seniors who live in nursing homes typically have mobility issues and may live in poor health, which can include poor eyesight and balance. Every resident should receive appropriate foot care, shoes, walking aids, and attention to ensure the safety of nursing home residents.
Unfortunately, some nursing homes simply neglect the needs of their residents. Sometimes this may relate to understaffing issues, where nursing home employees simply do not have the time to properly attend to all of the needs of the residents as well as ensure the removal of environmental hazards. In other cases, nursing homes staff employees remain unqualified or untrained and simply do not have the knowledge to understand they need to ensure the safety of residents regarding environmental hazards. Finally, some nursing homes simply do not have employees that carefully monitor and attend to residents or carefully clean the facility to ensure the removal of environmental hazards. If your elderly loved one fell and injured themselves in a nursing home due to an environmental hazard, you may have a strong case for nursing home negligence.
Consider Hiring a Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer
If you believe that your elderly loved one fell in a nursing home due to a preventable environmental hazard, contact the legal team at the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to potentially help you hold the nursing home responsible for your elderly loved ones’ injuries. We may help you receive the compensation you deserve to help pay for the additional medical bills and pain and suffering of your elderly loved one. While compensation will never heal your elderly loved one’s injuries, it may help you pay for some of their medical bills, medically necessary equipment, medication, physical therapy, and mental health therapy your loved one needs. Call us at (800) 842-6336.