Falls in nursing homes are somewhat common occurrences and can lead to serious injury or even death. Fall prevention practices and guidelines are not always clearly defined or effective. Unfortunately, some residents labeled as fall risks fail to be properly attended to or given the extra help that they need to complete certain activities.
A study by Nyrop, Zimmerman, and Sloane (2011) studied the phenomenon of nursing-home related falls and how prevention guidelines could address those fall risk patients. In their study, titled “Physician Perspective on Fall Prevention and Monitoring in Assisted Living: A Pilot Study”, they offered a wealth of information and background knowledge on falls in nursing homes.
According to the study, out of the 1.5 million Americans in nursing homes, an average of 43% of residents will fall every year; those numbers can actually go as high as 75% of residents in a given home. Additionally, 10-25% of those falls lead to serious injury, such as bone fractures. Nursing homes residents all together account for about 20% of fall-related deaths in people over 65. The American Association of Medical Directors is one of a few organizations that have created fall prevention guidelines used by nursing homes. However, these guidelines are general for all long-term care facilities and not address nursing homes in particular.
If your loved one has recently fallen in a nursing home setting and is now seriously injured, and if you feel that the nursing home has neglected your loved one, it may be time to seek legal assistance. Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury attorney specializing in nursing home abuse and negligence. For more information on him and his firm, please visit our website or call us at (814) 946-4100.