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Nursing Home Falls Often Go Unreported

Closeup of an elder with her walking stick, nursing home falls

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), falls in nursing homes often go unreported. In some cases, staff members do not observe the falls, while in other cases employees fear punishment for residents' falls. Falls are common in Illinois nursing homes, where a nursing home abuse lawyer Algonquin often handles claims for serious personal injuries.

Nursing Home Falls are Common

Falls are a dangerous fact of life in most nursing homes. CDC estimates show that an average size nursing home facility in the U. S. sees one to two falls per resident each year. In a typical size nursing home with 100 beds, that equates to 100 to 200 falls on a yearly basis. While some falls result in minor injuries like scrapes and bruises, others result in serious injuries such as cuts and lacerations, fractures and broken bones, spinal injuries, head trauma, and even death.

CDC nursing home fall statistics show that 50 to 75 percent of nursing home residents fall each year. Data shows that the average number of falls per resident per year is 2.6, which indicates that some resident falls go unattended and unreported. The CDC emphasizes that many nursing home falls are preventable. They state that with proper care, assistance and supervision, most nursing home residents should be able to move from a bed to a chair or wheelchair, or move about their rooms without falling. Despite these findings, many Illinois nursing home residents, or their family members, file injury claims from falls with a nursing home abuse lawyer Algonquin.

Common Causes of Nursing Home Falls

Although nursing home abuse and neglect contributes to many nursing home falls, nursing home residents face other challenges that make falls more common. These include:

  • Muscle weakness

  • Walking or gait problems

  • Medications

  • Improper foot care

  • Improperly fitted shoes

  • Lack of walking aids

The CDC reports that falls occur frequently among nursing home residents, partially due to extenuating medical conditions. Studies show that nursing home residents are often older, less mobile, and experience severe problems with chronic diseases, cognitive function, and the ability to perform daily tasks. In 2013, the U.S. National Library of Medicine reported findings that linked sleep medications common in nursing homes to nursing home falls and serious injuries.

In Illinois, injuries to nursing home residents are commonly reported and investigated by authorities. The Illinois Department of Public Health receives approximately 19,000 complaints of nursing home injuries each year. .


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