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Chicago nursing home injury attorneysLong-term care facilities like nursing homes care for the most vulnerable among us. These facilities are therefore held to a high degree of accountability. Staff in nursing homes or assisted living facilities should always be on the lookout for environmental hazards that could injure a resident. A leaky ceiling which creates a puddle on the ground, for example, could cause a resident to slip and fall.

A fall like this may not seem dangerous to a healthy person, but an elderly person with compromised health may suffer serious injury from such a fall. A resident who falls and hits his or her head may suffer a concussion, the mildest version of a traumatic brain injury. Concussions can cause significant pain and cognitive problems. More severe brain injuries can cause permanent impairment.

Concussions in the Elderly Can Be Hard to Spot

Because many nursing home residents suffer from dementia or other cognitive impairments, they may not be able to report a head injury when it happens. If you have a loved one who suffered a blow to the head, make sure they receive the appropriate medical treatment. Symptoms of a concussion are often subtle and gradual, so do not rule out a concussion without a professional medical evaluation. Signs and symptoms of a concussion can vary from person to person but generally include

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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:

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