Nursing Home Falls
Did your loved one fall in a nursing home? Did the nursing home contact you and let you know your loved one was being stubborn, not following protocol, or was wandering around confused? Did the nursing home reassure you they have the means to care for your loved one following his or her fall? On average, a nursing home of 100 beds will report the occurrence of 100 to 200 falls every year, with many additional falls going unreported. It’s estimated that between half and three-quarters of residents fall each year in nursing homes. The Center of Disease Control listed a statistic that in 2003, there were around 1.5 million falls and injuries. That number is supposed to double by the year 2030.
Due to financial deterrents, nursing homes will reassure that your loved one is not injured and does not need to be taken to the emergency room. Nursing homes do not want to cover any expense that could disturb their revenue. Oftentimes, they choose not to send residents to have proper care due to ambulance bills, the potential loss of a resident, and liability concerns. Nursing homes are already understaffed. As a result, there is not enough staff to ensure that every patient is properly cared for. More than 1,500 nursing home residents die each year due to falls.
Nursing homes are legally obligated to assess each resident upon entry. Initial assessments determine which residents need the most attention. However, due to limited staff, residents have insufficient assistance. This leaves residents susceptible to preventable falls due to nursing home inadequacies.
A resident’s care plan should include a complete evaluation of all factors that might cause or contribute to falls. That means full consideration of the resident’s health issues, such as:
-loss of strength and balance
-medications that cause dizziness or drowsiness
The care plan should also include an inventory of equipment and assistive devices that your loved one must travel with when unattended. In many cases, nursing homes will look to cut corners financially which may include not having the right equipment and asking residents to share equipment.
Knowing whether your loved one was at fault for his or her fall in a nursing home facility may be difficult. Nursing homes are businesses who try to maximize their profits oftentimes at the risk of sacrificing safety. With limited staff and a finite number of assistive walking equipment, was your loved one’s fall preventable? Hire a personal injury lawyer to investigate further.