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Falls Are Leading Cause of Accidental Death for Seniors

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois nursing home falls lawyerThe average, healthy person probably does not give much thought to the dangers of falling. This is rather understandable because a fall is not a very common thing for most people—at least those who are still fairly young. For a senior citizen or the resident of a nursing home, a fall can be absolutely devastating. The injuries sustained in a fall can be quite serious and even fatal. In fact, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that falls represent the leading cause of accidental death and injury for Americans aged 65 and older.

A Growing Segment of the Population

According to the CDC, older Americans suffered some 29 million falls in 2014. About 10 percent (2.8 million) of these falls required emergency medical treatment, and about 800,000 were hospitalized as a result of their falls. More than 27,000 falls eventually led to death. In 2016, about 3 million older adults required emergency care for falls, and nearly 30,000 victims died.

Considering that approximately 10,000 Americans reach age 65 every day, these numbers are expected to continue growing for the foreseeable future. “Older falls are increasing and, sadly, often herald the end of independence,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC.

Too Many Victims Suffer in Silence

One of the biggest dangers of older adult falls is that a large number of elderly patients tend to keep quiet about their falls—especially if they live alone. Those who fall may be embarrassed or concerned about the repercussions of telling someone about their fall. Suffering a fall may make an older person feel weaker than they really are, and victims often act like nothing is wrong because they are afraid to admit that they need help. Of course, when those who fall do not say anything to anyone, nobody takes new steps to prevent future falls which increases the risk of additional, more serious injuries.

Nursing Home Concerns

While many falls occur at home, they can also happen when a senior is under the care of a nursing home. There is no way to completely prevent all falls in a nursing home, particularly when residents have never shown signs of being in danger of falling. Certain medial conditions, medications, and other circumstances could make a resident more prone to falls. In situations like these, it is the responsibility of the nursing home staff to ensure that the resident is properly supervised. The resident may require assistance getting in and out of bed, using the bathroom, and other activities that require balance. When a patient who is known to be at risk for falling does fall due to a lack of proper staff supervision, the facility could be held liable for any injuries that result.

Call 312-535-4625 for Help

If an elderly loved one has suffered injuries from a fall in a nursing home, contact an experienced Illinois nursing home neglect attorney. Our knowledgeable team will help you explore your options for holding the facility and staff members accountable. Call 312-535-4625 for a free consultation at Schwartz Injury Law today.

 

Sources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/falls-leading-cause-of-injury-and-death-among-older-americans/

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6718a1.htm  

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