Accidents happen and there are times when nothing could have been done to prevent it. When a fall happens to a person in a nursing home or under the full-time watch of a caregiver, however, a fall is unacceptable. At Walker Wallace PLC, we make every effort to hold negligent caregivers accountable for injuries caused by your loved one’s fall, and we are fully prepared to help you.
Why do falls occur in nursing homes?
A person in the care of a nursing home is more apt to be injured in a fall than someone living outside a nursing home. Reasons for this include advanced age, physical limitations, or diminished mental condition of the residents. Another reason is nursing home neglect by staff and management in implementing or following procedures designed to limit falling events. Types of falls that can occur due to inattentive staff include:
- Unsupervised falls
- Falls when support belts are used improperly
- Falls out of bed when bed rails are not properly positioned
- Falls out of a wheelchair
- Falls when hurrying to the restroom because a staff member didn’t come to assist
- Falls in the bathtub or shower
When a nursing home resident falls, broken bones and serious bleeding are common injuries. While it may not be life threatening for a younger person, a broken bone in an elderly person may result in death. Also, many elderly people take prescription-strength blood thinners. A bleeding wound left unattended while the victim lies on the floor tragically may end in death. Fatal internal bleeding is also a strong possibility when an elderly person suffers a serious fall.
What are contributing factors to nursing home falls?
Most, if not all, nursing home falls can be prevented. Through patient education, regular inspections, recurring staff training and facility repairs, the mistreatment of the elderly by allowing him or her to fall can be minimized. Elder mistreatment as it relates to falls occurs as a result of a several factors, including:
- Improper lighting
- Slippery floors
- Medications that make patients unstable or disoriented
- Failure to teach patients how to use walking assistance devices
- Beds and chairs at inappropriate heights for the patients
- Items left in walkways
- Inadequate staffing
Reports collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that the use of physical restraints is counterproductive. Not only do restraints fail to prevent falls, the use of restraints has been shown to increase the likelihood of falls.
Educating residents about how to use walking assistance equipment properly, offering slip-resistant footwear and installing sensors in patients’ rooms to alert staff when the resident is attempting to get up without assistance can prevent many of these falls.
Contact one of our Louisville lawyers if a loved one has suffered a fall in a nursing home
Our attorneys at Walker Wallace PLC can assist you with a free initial consultation, explain your options and evaluate the strength of your case. Our office is conveniently located in Louisville’s South End, away from congested downtown traffic. To schedule an appointment and for more information, contact us at 502-937-1125 or online .