If your loved one is living in a nursing home, then you must be keenly aware of the potential dangers that could occur. One of the greatest threats to your loved one’s long-term health is a fractured hip. A hip fracture that goes untreated can lead to long-term damage and even a higher risk of death.
For this reason, it is critical that you know the risk factors for a fractured hip, the signs of a fractured hip, and what to do if somebody is liable for your loved one’s hip fracture.
Risk Factors for a Fractured Hip
Hip fracture rates in the U.S. are some of the highest in the world, according to a 2011 Indian Journal of Orthopaedics study, with rates of hip fracture incidents soaring in both men and women as they age. Your loved one being in an older age group puts them at a higher risk of sustaining a hip injury.
Additional risk factors for a hip fracture include:
- Low body weight exposes bones in a fall.
- Osteoporosis, which is common in the elderly.
- Lack of physical activity, also common in the elderly.
- Excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption.
- Poor vision.
- Tall stature.
- Taking medications that reduce bone density.
- Smoking cigarettes.
- Weakness, vertigo, or general unsteadiness.
- Living in a nursing home or assisted-living facility.
Many of these factors are unavoidable as we age, but trained nursing home staff should detect these risk factors and take extra care with residents that are at a higher risk of hip fracture. Nursing homes that are understaffed, hire unqualified or undertrained employees, or engage in other negligent acts may further increase your loved one’s risk of a fractured hip.
Negligence Is a Potential Cause of a Fractured Hip
There are several ways that decision-makers at a nursing home may put residents, including your loved one, at risk. Some common practices qualify as negligence by nursing home administrators, and they often put residents at a greater risk of suffering injuries, such as a fractured hip.
Some of these negligent practices include:
- Knowingly hiring staffers with a history of mistreatment of the elderly.
- Knowingly hiring staffers who are not qualified as caregivers.
- Failing to conduct a proper vetting process to detect unqualified or dangerous job applicants.
- Failing to train staffers in proper caregiving practices, including injury prevention and emergency response practices.
- Failing to keep an adequate staff on duty at all times.
- Failing to properly monitor residents and staffers.
- Failing to maintain consistent safety practices, such as ensuring handrails are in place and clearing walkways of clutter.
These conditions make it more likely that your loved one could suffer a serious injury such as a hip fracture. Such negligent conditions also make it more likely that nursing home staff will fail to tend to your loved one properly if an injury does occur, so it is important you know the signs of hip fracture.
How to Spot a Fractured Hip in Your Loved One
Your loved one may be suffering from a hip fracture if they display symptoms such as:
- One leg appears shorter than the other.
- Severely restricted movement, especially if movement causes extreme pain.
- Severe pain in the hip or groin area.
- The shortened leg is turning outward.
- Bruising, swelling, and stiffness in the groin area.
- Severe pain when your loved one puts weight on their leg(s).
It should be clear when your loved one has suffered a serious injury, and these symptoms likely indicate a fractured hip. If this injury has not been addressed or diagnosed by the staff at your loved one’s nursing home, the level of negligence may be worse than you imagined.
Call a Lawyer if Your Loved One Suffered a Broken Hip in a Nursing Home
If your loved one broke their hip while living in a nursing home, the cause may be negligence, even if it is not immediately obvious. If your loved one’s hip fracture goes untreated for any significant period of time, they may have incurred an even greater risk of long-term injury and accelerated death.
A lawyer can help by identifying the liable party in your case, handling all of the legal responsibilities necessary to pursue financial awards, and protecting your loved one’s rights throughout the entirety of the legal process.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm wants to ensure that your loved one suffers no additional harm than they have already endured. Call our team today to discuss your case. Our clients pay nothing up front, nothing out of pocket, and we collect a fee only if we secure a judgment or settlement. Also, know that we do not shy away from tough cases. Call us today: (800) 842-6336.