Thousands of nursing home residents are injured in accidental falls every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than half of all nursing home residents fall each year. If the fall happens because of neglectful nursing home staff, that person or the facility could be held liable.
Ways Nursing Home Negligence Can Lead to Falls
When older adults fall, the consequences can be serious. Falls often cause hip fractures, and the complications that can arise as a result can be life-threatening.
There are many potential ways that the negligence of a nursing home facility or its staff could cause a resident to fall. Nursing homes are designed to meet the medical needs of residents, many of whom may have poor balance or cognitive difficulties. When minimum standards are not followed, there can be disastrous consequences for residents.
Some of the most common issues include:
- Understaffing. If there are not enough staff members to take care of residents, this can lead to residents taking matters into their own hands—such as trying to move when it isn’t safe to do so, leading to a fall.
- Undertraining. When nursing home staff are not trained properly, they may neglect patients. Poor supervision of patients can lead to an increased risk of falls.
- Failing to properly assess fall risk. Patients—especially those who have fallen in the past—should be screened regularly to assess their chances of increased falls.
- Unsafe facility. This can include items such as a lack of handrails, slippery floors, exposed electrical cords, and inadequate lighting.
- Medication errors. From providing patients with the wrong kind or amount of medication to failing to take into account the physical side effects of a medication change, nursing homes must be responsible for administering medication properly.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney
When your elderly loved one suffers a fall at a nursing home, an experienced attorney can help you conduct an investigation to find out what happened. If nursing home neglect is discovered to have caused the fall, your loved one could be entitled to damages. Protect their fair recovery by contacting Ben Crittenden today.