Slip and falls are very common in nursing homes. While there are laws in place to have handrails and assistive devices like wheelchairs and walkers available to those living in nursing homes, the lack of staff and supervision has made injuries more prevalent and serious. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are one of the leading causes of injury and death in nursing home facilities across the country.
A well run nursing home should be able to provide and maintain proper care to all of its residents, especially those that suffer from physical disabilities or cognitive impairments. Nursing home residents should receive proper foot care and walking aids to assist them in everyday activities. The nursing home should always take caution of any environmental hazards that occur in and around the facility. This could include wet or slippery floors, broken equipment, dull lighting or debris in the walkways. Any improper building and furniture design such as bed height, bed rails and toilet seat height should be dealt with as well for the protection and well being of residents.
Nursing home abuse and neglect is becoming all too common. Nursing home patients' rights should not be disregarded. The statistics are staggering. The Nursing Home Abuse Center reports that:
- Approximately 1,800 nursing home resident deaths each year can be attributed to fall-related injuries.
- Adults 65 and older are four times more likely to die of fall-related injuries if they live in a nursing home compared to those that live at home or with loved ones.
- Up to 75% of nursing home residents fall on an annual basis. This is more than double the rate for senior citizens who don't live in nursing homes. Over a third of fall-related injuries happen to residents who can't walk.
Falls can be prevented through attentive nursing home staff and proper attention and care, including:
- Facilities providing the proper walking equipment
- Each resident should complete a risk assessment every year that includes past illnesses, accidents and falls as well as overall physical health.
- Nursing home staff should be properly trained on falls and fall prevention
- Exercise programs that include stretching, moving and balance may be able to help residents improve their strength to prevent any future falls.
- Facilities being properly staffed.
Suffering any personal injuries from a fall can be physically and mentally difficult for an elderly adult. With the help of experienced personal injury attorneys you can seek the proper compensation when an injury has occurred in a nursing home. The professional Chicago lawyers at Lipkin & Apter have helped many individuals and families receive financial compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.