Nursing home staff and administrators have a duty to help protect their residents from these falls. In some cases, if nursing home staff did not take steps to help a resident avoid a preventable fall, they could be found liable in a civil claim or lawsuit. Of all the risks of injury or illness in a nursing home, a fall accident can be particularly damaging.
These injuries have the potential to cause broken bones, brain damage, or even death. The unfortunate reality is that many of these falls occur due to negligence. According to the journal Innovation in Aging, as many as 30% of all fall injuries in nursing homes are preventable.
How Nursing Home Falls Happen
There are numerous ways that negligence could result in a nursing home fall accident. Some of these factors involve the facility or administrators. For example, the failure to maintain a nursing home in working order could result in a fall, including understaffing.
Sometimes, the staff members are primarily responsible. When caregivers neglect their patients or fail to monitor them, the risk of a fall could increase substantially. In any of these circumstances, an attorney could pursue an injury claim on behalf of a nursing home resident.
Fall Prevention Measures in Nursing Homes
The good news is that there are many measures available to nursing homes to prevent falls. There are multiple factors in a nursing home that could increase the chances of a fall, and a thorough fall prevention plan should address all of them. By taking active steps to prevent falls, nursing homes could protect their residents and avoid the legal consequences that come with serious injuries.
Some of the steps to prevent falls include:
- Recognizing at-risk residents. Some residents are more likely to fall than others due to physical limitations or cognitive issues. It is also important to remember that certain residents are more likely than others to attempt to walk on their own, such as high-risk residents.
- Taking stock of prescription issues. Certain prescription medications can increase the risk of a fall, as they could cause issues with balance or drowsiness. Residents that are at an increased risk of falling due to their medication require additional attention from nursing home staff.
- Lowering risks through activity. For many residents, it could be possible to reduce the risk of a fall through physical activity. Muscle atrophy is a common cause of these injuries, and regular physical activity could assist a resident in avoiding falls.
- Requiring appropriate footwear. In many cases, something as simple as wearing appropriate footwear could prevent a fall. Residents who are dealing with gait issues might also require specialized footwear to protect them from falling.
- Undertaking physical improvements. Making physical improvements to the building itself could also be a useful tool. Things like non-slip flooring or handrails are an important step.
- Creating a fall prevention plan. The most important step for nursing homes is to develop a comprehensive fall prevention plan. Without a written plan, it could be difficult to ensure that staff does everything possible to help their residents avoid a fall.
Consider Hiring an Attorney When a Nursing Home Fall Prevention Plan Fails
Even the best fall prevention plan can prove to be useless if nursing home staff or administrators fail to adhere to it. A single negligent act could result in a dangerous fall that alters a resident’s life and welfare forever. When the types of fall prevention assistance measures provided by nursing homes fail due to negligence, it could be helpful to contact an attorney.
You may be able to seek compensation for your family’s losses or your loved one’s losses in connection to a nursing home’s negligence. You may even be able to seek compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering–both past and future. Call (702) 633-3333 for your free consultation today.