According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1,800 elderly nursing home residents die from injuries related to falls each year. Those residents who do not die often suffer traumatic brain injuries or hip fractures that result in permanent disabilities or a reduced overall quality of life. Between half and three-quarters of all nursing home residents suffer falls every year, and many fall more than once. The average is 2.6 falls per resident each year.
Families of elderly nursing home residents place their loved ones in a facility precisely to receive the supervision and care necessary to ensure their safety. When nursing homes fail to provide proper care for their residents, it could be the result of either negligent or abusive interactions with their residents. Serious falls might occur that result in injuries or death.
If your elderly loved one suffered a fall in a nursing home, learn how a Savannah falls lawyer can fight for compensation on your behalf. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your case with a team member who can help you understand your legal rights.
Why Falls Occur in Nursing Homes
With aging comes a decrease in strength and resilience. Many elderly residents of nursing homes become frail simply due to age; however, this is even more reason that they should receive constant supervision and assistance.
Some seniors have chronic conditions or medical issues that make them more susceptible to falling. Other seniors develop serious memory issues or have neurocognitive challenges that require assistance with daily activities. The following are some reasons that nursing home residents fall with such frequency:
- Muscle weakness.
- Challenges with gait or walking.
- Environmental hazards in the walkways (e.g., wet floors, poor lighting, incorrect bed height, or improperly fitted wheelchairs).
- Medications that cause drowsiness or dizziness.
- Medications that affect the central nervous system, including anti-anxiety drugs and sedatives.
- Poor foot care.
- Improper use of walking aids such as walkers.
- Neurocognitive conditions that make seniors confused.
Prevention of Falls in Nursing Homes
Nursing homes have a responsibility and duty to ensure the safety of their residents. The nursing home staff should employ these tactics and procedures to reduce the risk of falls in their facility:
- Assess every resident and provide a plan of care, which will include information regarding whether the resident is a fall risk and needs additional supervision and assistance.
- Ensure that walkways are free from hazardous or dangerous conditions, and no piles of debris are in areas where seniors walk.
- Determine which medications prescribed to a resident will increase their risk of falling.
- Assist seniors throughout the nursing home by installing grab bars, raised toilet seats, lowered beds, and handrails.
- Provide elderly residents with hip pads that may prevent hip fractures or broken hips if a fall does occur.
- Provide exercise programs that can assist elderly residents with strength and mobility issues.
Nursing homes also must provide proper training and instruction to the entire staff regarding appropriate resident care to prevent falls. They also must have enough staff on duty at all hours to supervise and assist nursing home residents.
Nursing homes that fail to meet this responsibility can be held liable for their negligence. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your case for free with a team member.
For a free legal consultation with an falls lawyer serving Savannah, call (800) 842-6336
Signs That a Nursing Home Resident Fell
If your elderly loved one is in a nursing home, you may wonder whether they have the proper care and supervision that they deserve. You pay for the nursing home services, and they should continuously monitor your loved one to ensure they always remain safe.
Unfortunately, understaffing, inadequate training, and overworked employees can lead to nursing home neglect—or worse, nursing home abuse. The following signs might indicate that an elderly resident recently suffered a fall in their nursing home:
- Unexplained broken bones.
- Unexplained abrasions or bruising.
- Injuries to the head and neck.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Internal organ damage or bleeding.
- Bruises that appear older, but you never received a notification that your elderly loved one fell.
- Fear, anger, or other emotional outbursts from your elderly loved one that seems uncharacteristic of their typical personality.
- Attempts by the nursing home staff to minimize or trivialize any injuries.
- Failure to visit with you about your loved one’s injuries, even after you attempt to meet with management.
If you feel your elderly loved one suffered a fall in their nursing home due to neglect or abuse by the staff, you might want to learn how a Savannah falls lawyer can help you with your case.
Savannah Falls Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
What to Do Following Your Loved One’s Fall
First, if you believe your elderly loved one suffered a serious fall, you should seek immediate medical attention for them from a qualified professional. A medical evaluation will allow you to understand the extent of their injuries and take your next steps.
If you feel your loved one is in any danger at their nursing home, you should remove them immediately. Additionally, if you do not think you are obtaining the answers you deserve to your questions regarding a possible fall incident with your loved one, you have the right to do the following:
- Remove your loved one from the nursing home
- Contact law enforcement
- Contact Adult Protective Services
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Learn How a Savannah Falls Lawyer Can Help
Once you have taken steps to ensure your loved one’s health and safety, you might consider taking legal action against the nursing home for its negligent acts. You might recover compensation for medical bills arising from their injuries, relocation costs to a new facility, and their pain and suffering.
If your loved one died because of their injuries, you might have a wrongful death claim, for which you can receive awards for funeral costs, loss of consortium, and more.
If you believe that your elderly loved one suffered a fall in a nursing home due to the staff’s negligence, abuse, or neglect, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to speak with a team member. They can help you understand your legal rights and how a Savannah falls lawyer can pursue justice and compensation on behalf of your elderly loved one.