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Falls Are the Most Common Cause of Elder Injury and Accidental Death

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois nursing home abuse attorneysIf you have an elderly relative, chances are you often worry about their safety. Older individuals often have decreased muscle mass and bone density. A fall that might only result in minor bruising on a young person may cause several broken bones in an elderly individual. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 3 million elderly individuals are treated in emergency rooms for fall injuries every year. More than 95 percent of all hip fractures are caused by falling and falls are the most frequent cause of traumatic brain injuries. Falling injuries resulted in over $50 billion in medical bills in 2015 alone.

Remove Environmental Hazards to Help Prevent Falls

Understandably, all falls cannot be prevented. However, it is the obligation of every caregiver to take steps to prevent elder falls. If you have an elderly loved one, a few environmental changes may decrease the chance that he or she is injured or killed in a fall. Firstly, remove tripping hazards like clutter or loose electrical cords on the floor. Secure loose floor rugs with double-sided tape or remove them entirely. Repair or replace broken furniture or loose floorboards. Install nonslip mats and safety rails in the bathroom. Encourage your loved one to use his or her walker or cane if necessary. Lastly, make sure the lighting is adequate for your loved one to see his or her surroundings clearly.

Nursing Home Falls May Be a Sign of Neglect

Injuries from falling account for about 36 percent of theoretically preventable emergency room visits by nursing home residents. Not every nursing home resident who falls has been neglected. However, an unusual frequency of falls or falls that go unreported may be a sign of nursing home abuse and neglect. Conditions that can cause falls to happen more often include:

  • Environmental hazards like wet floors, unsecured equipment, unlocked wheelchairs, loose wiring, improper bed heights, poorly maintained stairways, and poor lighting;
  • Unsafe patient transfers into and out of beds and wheelchairs;
  • Ill-fitting clothes and shoes;
  • Insufficient safety equipment;
  • Inadequate elder foot care;
  • Improper use of walking aids;
  • Malnutrition or dehydration; and
  • Medication errors.

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Falls Attorney

At Schwartz Injury Law, our Chicago, IL nursing home falls lawyers work hard to get families the compensation they deserve. If you or someone you love has been injured in a nursing home fall, call us today at 312-535-4625 for a cost-free case evaluation.

 

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/fall-prevention/art-20047358

https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html

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