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Preventative Measures Nursing Homes Should Take to Stop Falls

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois nursing home fall injury attorneysA baby learning to walk falls down dozens and dozens of times without injury. Unfortunately, as our bodies age, the risks associated with falling increase dramatically. Falling is the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries and hip fractures.  Among the elderly, fall accidents can result in severe and even fatal injuries. It is estimated that over 32,000 older people die in fall accidents each year in the U.S. Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities must actively take steps to prevent residents from falling. When nursing home negligence leads to a preventable fall injury, the nursing home may be guilty of neglect.

Keeping Residents’ Living Spaces Clean and Free of Clutter

Cleanliness is a crucial concern in nursing homes. Not only does proper cleaning and sanitation prevent disease, keeping the facility clean can also prevent avoidable fall injuries. Resident rooms, dining halls, and hallways should be kept tidy and free of clutter. Electrical cords or wires from medical equipment should be secured in such a way that they do not present trip and fall hazards. If liquid or other slippery substances are spilled, they must be cleaned up immediately.

Helping Residents With Limited Mobility

Older people and those with disabilities often struggle to get around on their own. However, they may not always ask for help when they need it. An older person with dementia may not realize that he or she is at risk of falling. Other residents may simply overestimate how steady they are on their feet. Nursing home staff should be aware of residents’ physical limitations and accommodate them accordingly. For example, if a resident cannot easily get from his wheelchair to his bed, staff should help the resident so that he does not fall.

Properly Managing Medical Conditions That Increase the Chances of Falling

Most nursing home residents suffer from one or more serious medical conditions. Properly managing residents’ medical problems is key to reducing the incidence of serious fall accidents. For example, if a resident has a history of fainting, careful attention should be paid to him or her when rising from a seated or lying down position. If a resident takes medication that makes him or her dizzy, staff should provide a walker or wheelchair for the resident.

Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

Nursing home staff should be taking every precaution possible to prevent residents from falling. If insufficient care or failure to maintain a safe living environment lead to a fall accident, the nursing home may be liable for neglect. The injured resident or the resident’s surviving family may hold the facility accountable and recover damages through a nursing home neglect lawsuit. To learn more, speak with a Cook County nursing home negligence lawyer at Schwartz Injury Law. Call us at 312-535-4625 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

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

https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/older-adult-falls/index.html

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