If you have an older spouse or parent living in a nursing home, you may want to be on high alert for their general well-being at the nursing home. It is all due to common slips and falls.
Physical falls by slipping or tripping and falling on uneven sidewalks or slippery floors on the nursing home property are among the highest causes of injuries to aging seniors, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA). The dangerous part about these falls is that many of the injuries suffered result in more than just a bruise that an average adult might incur. Head trauma is one major injury that elderly residents may suffer from, and this trauma is serious. Other injuries can cause major complications for seniors, too.
Senior Falls and Medical Costs
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calculated that:
- 25% of senior Americans suffer falls annually
- These falls are what commonly send seniors to hospitals for trauma-related issues
- Injuries caused from falling totaled around $30 billion in costs covered by Medicare
Responsibility for Falls
Who bears responsibility for these senior falls on nursing home property? That is not always an easy answer. Elderly people on average fall more easily and more often than other adults. If they are in the supposed care of the nursing home staff, these falls should not be happening under their watch.
This is where charges of negligence may lie. When a family admits a senior to a nursing home as a resident, they are placing their trust in the facility to care for their family member. Families expect that nursing home staff complete the necessary steps to create a safe living environment so that its residents will not fall on ripped carpets, uneven sidewalks, or other areas of concern.
Certain regulations hold that nursing homes must maintain acceptable levels of safety for residents. This extends to nursing homes maintaining hazard-free walking areas, hiring and training staff workers to deal with preventing falls, and providing basic medical treatments for their residents.
If this does not happen, then by most accounts the building management would be considered negligent in protecting its residents that result in serious injuries. The elderly resident’s family should get involved as well, if they do not believe that an acceptable level of care and monitoring is in place.
The nursing home should be held accountable in cases of slipping or tripping and falling on uneven sidewalks or slippery floors on the nursing home property. If the evidence that the family sees is to the contrary, then it is time to call for a meeting with the legal staff. Our team will listen to your case of your elderly spouse or parent, and work with you to uncover any acts of malfeasance among the nursing homeowners, management, or staff.
Nursing Home Negligence
There are many facets to nursing home negligence. There can be lapses by the nursing home in hiring staff, managing processes, monitoring patients, and even turning a blind eye to worse acts of physical and/or sexual abuse. Specifically, people may sue nursing homes for acts of negligence like:
- Poor hiring practices without proper background checks that lead to hiring poorly vetted individuals with criminal records or unstable medical conditions.
- Inability to keep the nursing home property in reasonably safe conditions for the senior residents. This covers areas like keeping residents from fighting one another, to making sure that senior residents do not slip and fall carelessly. In such cases, a person must show evidence that the owner or manager of the nursing home had a certain duty to maintain safe conditions, but breached that duty, and that a senior resident suffered an injury as a result of the breach.
- Poor supervision or non-supervision of a resident who suffers a fall and gets injured. Also, a lack of handrails or other fixtures that aid older residents could contribute to a fall and serious issues, like traumatic brain injuries.
- Not maintaining a quality standard of health and safety policies. This could include keeping basic clean conditions throughout the nursing home, to wiping up liquid spills promptly, to having a regular garbage pickup routine kept up.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Offers Legal Support
If you are the loved one of a senior spouse or parent, it is up to you to ask questions. Find out why your loved one fell. Ask about all potential signs of a fall, especially if your loved one is recovering or struggling with a head injury. If the staff just brushes it off, with a curt “Well, some of our residents fall down from time to time,” that is enough of an insight to try to uncover what really happened.
That is when you might want the help of a dedicated legal team that works with nursing home negligence and abuse cases. Our firm can look into allegations of slipping or tripping and falling on uneven sidewalks or slippery floors on the nursing home property. We can support you with legal moves to uncover more evidence at the nursing home. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 for a free consultation.