Unexplained falls that cause injuries to your loved one can be a sign of assisted living neglect. When assisted living employees fail to properly monitor, provide assistive devices, and otherwise help assisted living residents with their mobility, residents may suffer bruises, broken bones, head injuries, and more.
In some cases, injuries from falls can lead to permanently disabling conditions or lead to death. If you have a loved one who resides in this type of care facility, you should be aware that falls can be a sign of assisted living neglect.
Falls in Assisted Living Facilities
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one out of every four Americans who are ages 65 and older fall each year. Many of these falls result in serious and, in some cases, life-threatening injuries.
Over three million older adults visit emergency room departments each year for fall-related injuries, and 800,000 of those adults suffer injuries that require hospitalization. In fact, traumatic brain injuries and hip fractures in older adults overwhelmingly occur as a result of falls.
Older Americans are particularly at risk of falling in comparison to the risk of the general population. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) highlights various factors that may contribute to the fall risks of older adults. These factors include deficits in vision, hearing, and reflexes that are a normal part of the aging process.
Some medications can cause individuals to become sleepy, weak, off-balance, or dizzy, thus leading to falls. Common medical conditions in older adults can lead to problems with balance, as well, such as diabetes, thyroid issues, or blood pressure. A combination of these factors can make older Americans much more susceptible to falls.
One of the major reasons that older Americans reside in an assisted living facility is protection and assistance with activities of daily living. As a result, assisted living facilities should have all available safeguards in place to prevent falls to the greatest degree possible. These safeguards should include grab bars and the elimination of any hazards posed by flooring, furniture, or other objects.
However, staff members also must be able to identify those residents who are at an increased risk of falling and assist them when they are transferring from their bed to a chair or wheelchair, trying to use the bathroom, or otherwise leave their rooms.
When Neglect Causes Falls
In some cases, no matter how many precautions assisted living facilities take, falls still cause injuries to residents. These falls are typically explainable accidents that do not result from neglect. In other cases, however, unexplained or unusual falls, especially if they continue to occur or increase, can be a sign of a large pattern of neglect. Various situations can lead to the neglect of assisted living residents that result in falls and fall-related injuries. These situations may include:
- Failing to properly train or supervise caregivers to effectively and regularly monitor residents
- Ignoring the basic needs of residents, in terms of receiving medication, food and drink, and assistance in going to the bathroom
- Not taking precautions to keep residents from attempting to move unassisted if they are fall risks
- Failing to provide a resident with assistive devices within their reach, such as canes, walkers, and wheelchairs
- Hiring workers without the appropriate screening to ensure safety to residents
Falls regularly occur when family members are not present, so you may not be aware of falls until you notice injuries to your loved ones. Unexplained bruises, broken bones, and contusions all can be signs that falls are occurring as a result of neglect in assisted living facilities.
If your loved ones are unable to explain how these injuries occurred, you may need to insist on further investigation into their causes. Otherwise, you risk subjecting your loved ones to continuing neglectful conditions that could result in more severe injuries.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 842-6336
Contact Us for Help Today
Falls at assisted living facilities have the potential to lead to severe or even fatal injuries. When staff members at assisted living facilities fail to properly care for your loved ones, the consequences can be disastrous.
We know how devastating the discovery of neglect and abuse at assisted living facilities can be. You can learn more about your legal options following injuries to your loved one by contacting Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for help. Call (800) 842-6336 today and get the information that you need to make informed decisions about your situation.