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Many Nursing Home Residents at Risk of Falling

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois nursing home neglect lawyersThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, in any given year, almost three-quarters of all nursing home residents suffer a fall. Furthermore, many of these patients fall more than once per year. While a slip and fall may not be injury-causing to a young, healthy person, seemingly minor falls can have serious consequences for someone whose body is weakened by illness, injury, or old age. Sadly, falls cause around 1,800 nursing home resident deaths each year.

What Causes Falls?

People staying in nursing homes generally are there because they are at least partially unable to care for themselves. For some residents, this is due to a mental incapacitation such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Other residents are recovering from major surgery or other invasive medical procedures. Many nursing home residents experience muscle weakness or gait problems. These factors can make a person much more likely to slip and fall. Sometimes, hazards such wet floors, incorrect bed height, poor lighting, and inadequate equipment further increase risks of falls.

CDC Says Many Falls Go Unreported

Approximately 36 percent of preventable emergency room visits by nursing home patients are caused by falls. An average-sized nursing home—one containing about 100 beds—generally reports about 100 to 200 falls a year. Unfortunately, the CDC says that this information may not accurately reflect the number of falls actually happening in nursing homes across the country. Realistically, many falls are never reported, so the real number is likely to be much higher.

Falls Can Cause Debilitating Injuries for Residents With Other Medical Issues

Falls can cause functional decline, reduced quality of life, decreased independence, or even complete disability in nursing home residents. Some falls can cause death. In addition to excruciating physical consequences, nursing home residents who fall may also experience depression, anxiety, anger, and feelings of helplessness and desperation. Nursing home staff have a vital responsibility to take reasonable precautions to prevent falls. Nursing homes who do not uphold their duty to stop preventable falls from happening can be held financially responsible for the resident’s medical bills, pain and suffering, and future expenses. If a nursing home’s negligence causes a resident to pass away prematurely, the surviving members of the deceased person can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home.

Chicago Attorneys with Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Experience

If you or someone you love has been injured due to nursing home abuse or neglect, you need an attorney who knows the law and has experience fighting for victims of nursing home negligence. To schedule a free, confidential consultation of your case with a Chicago nursing home neglect lawyer at Schwartz Injury Law, call 312-535-4625 today.

 

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/nursing.html

http://nursinghomeabuseguide.com/negligence/falls-and-fractures/

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