Nursing home residents tend to have thinner, more fragile bones than younger folks, which makes them more susceptible to severe injuries after a fall. Sadly, skilled nursing facilities sometimes fail to provide the standard of care that the law requires of them. In such cases, older adults may suffer from negligence and abuse at the hand of their caregivers.
Nursing home residents are not always mentally or physically capable of recognizing or reporting negligence, so family members must be the ones to take action in such situations. Pintas and Mullins Law Firm is committed to speaking up for the helpless and vulnerable. Call our office today, and a Tulsa falls lawyer can handle your potential case.
Seniors Are at Greater Risk for Falls
Some seniors live with cognitive disorders, while others have chronic conditions that make it harder for them to move around safely by themselves, though they may still try to do so. According to BMC Health Services Research, older adults face greater risks associated with falls. While it is impossible to avoid falls altogether in nursing homes, the risk increases considerably when there are lapses in attention and care to residents.
Causes of Fall Accidents in a Nursing Home
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are various reasons why falls happen in nursing homes, and they can range from a resident’s medical condition to irresponsibility or carelessness on the part of the caregivers. The following are frequent causes of falls accidents.
Some drugs can cause feelings of light-headedness, grogginess, dizziness, or weakness. Seniors already tend to lose their balance, and taking certain medications can make this worse. Over-medication can intensify the side effects of drugs, making it more likely that residents will fall and hurt themselves. Some nursing home staff intentionally give more than the recommended dosage of medicine to make it easier to manage their patients.
Older adults deal with more health issues than younger people. A few examples of medical conditions that can contribute to falls include respiratory infections, balance problems, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, and cardiac arrhythmias.
Health and balance problems are not always to blame for falls. The nursing home is responsible for keeping the premises safe and free from hazards because the elderly may fail to notice potential dangers around them. And even if they do see tripping hazards, they might not be able to react in time. Sometimes, poor construction and design of the structure itself can contribute to the increased risk of fall accidents.
Older adults rely on nursing home staff to assist them as they move around the facility. When there are not enough personnel to supervise and monitor the elderly, they may try to go around on their own. They can end up falling and hurting themselves. It is also possible for an accident to happen as a staff member transfers a resident from the bed to an assistive device and back to bed. An assisting staff who lacks the training, strength, or experience may not be able to transfer the resident safely.
It can be saddening to see your loved one suffering from an injury. In situations where a fall was preventable, a Tulsa falls lawyer can help investigate the fall and establish liability.
For a free legal consultation with an falls lawyer serving Tulsa, call (800) 842-6336
Look Out for Signs of a Fall
Some residents avoid reporting negligence and abuse in nursing homes because they fear retaliation from the staff. Thus, it is sometimes up to family members to observe signs of fall-related injuries. You should take note of any abrasion or bruise that may appear, especially if they are recurring. The law allows you to obtain a copy of your loved one’s chart to see the reports. Consider asking for the assistance of a Tulsa falls lawyer if you suspect that a fall happened because of negligence.
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Falls Are Preventable
It is the job of nursing homes to implement safety measures that will minimize the risk of falls. Some examples include installing safety features, providing proper staff training, and assessing the risk of prescribed medications. Fall accidents may be the result of the failure of a skilled nursing facility to take reasonable precautions. A Tulsa fall lawyer can help determine whether a skilled nursing facility is accountable for your loved one’s injury and what legal options are available.
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A Fall Injury Can Have a Serious Impact on Your Loved One’s Life
A fall can limit the independence and mobility of senior citizens and discourage them from staying physically active. They may become withdrawn and experience a decreased quality of life. In more unfortunate cases, a bad fall can lead to severe injuries, chronic pain, and even death. Extended recuperation can cause bedsores, pneumonia, and other complications when patients spend more time lying in bed.
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What To Do If Your Loved One Gets Hurt
As soon as you learn that your loved one experienced a fall, insist on getting a medical evaluation. There could be unseen injuries that can become life-threatening when ignored. Afterward, talk with the staff to hear their side on how the accident came about. You can choose to file a report with the nursing home since some fall incidents go unreported. You have the right to consider a Tulsa falls lawyer if you want legal assistance with your case.
Pintas and Mullins Law Firm Can Review Your Case for Free
Nursing homes are legally obligated to provide their residents with high-quality care and attention. When they violate their duty of care, they can be held liable for any injury that residents sustain from preventable falls. We understand how essential it is to ensure that your loved one is always safe and healthy. A Tulsa falls lawyer can investigate if you have an actionable legal claim, and determine damages you are eligible to receive.
Reach out to us. We want to hear your concerns, and we offer a no-obligation, free case consultation.