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Falls: A risk to the elderly in nursing homes

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2019 | Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Your loved ones are aging, so you’ve looked into placing them into a nursing home. You want to make sure they have the care they need to be safe around the clock, even if that means not being in their own home.

One thing you do worry about is injuries, though. What if their call for help isn’t answered quickly and they get up on their own? They could fall. What if the nurse or aide isn’t cautious? They could injure your loved one.

Fall injuries are among the most common in nursing homes. While they are not always the fault of the staff, they can indicate that there is negligence or abuse taking place. In most cases, the elderly may fall once before the nurses, aides or other professionals see that they need more assistance. It’s horrible, but until that happens, they may not be aware of your loved one’s risk of injury.

After this, though, falls should not happen again. You can check a few things in the nursing home to make sure your loved one has the best possibility of good care. For example, you can check if the nursing home:

  • Is licensed by the state
  • Is Medicare or Medicaid-certified
  • Is easy to visit
  • Has comfortable furniture for residents
  • Has call buttons that are easy to access within the room, and in hallways or other areas of the facility
  • Has clean, safe flooring and structures
  • Is well lit
  • Has enough staff to help all residents, even if a few staff members are called away

These are just a few things to look into that can help you decide if this nursing home is up to the task of taking care of your loved one.

What should you do if your loved one falls and gets hurt in a nursing home?

If this is the first time it has happened, it’s important to get all possible information about how the fall happened. In some cases, even the first fall is something you might want to make a claim for. For instance, you could file a personal injury lawsuit if your loved one trips on a sidewalk and falls walking into the nursing home. The unsafe conditions show that the facility wasn’t kept up to standard.

If this is not the first time an injury has occurred, it’s a good idea to reach out to your attorney and to local agencies to help your loved one get better care.