Nursing Home Falls Can Be Fatal
Among adults over the age of 65, falling is the most common cause of death. According to statistics by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year, one out of every three elder adults takes a fall. Many of these falls result in serious injury or death.
Most falls can be prevented
When an elder adult is living in a nursing home or assisted living facility, the administration is responsible for taking measures to prevent falls. Some practical interventions include:
- Installing grab rails in hallways, next to staircases and ramps, in shower and bath facilities and alongside beds
- Providing regular checkups of residents’ vision — poor vision can cause residents to misstep or trip on a stray item.
- Checking residents’ ears for fluid and middle ear infection — otitis media and simple congestion can disrupt balance.
- Offering daily exercise classes to improve balance and strengthen bones
- Monitoring medications that may be causing dizziness or disorientation
- Diagnosing and treating osteoporosis — so that falls result in less severe fractures
When investigating an elder care facility for the potential placement of a loved one, ask about the procedures they have in place for the prevention of falling. Many private facilities self-report incidents involving resident accidents. Deaths caused by falling may be somewhat under-reported, as the initial fall may not initially appear to result in serious injury. In some cases, a minor fall can lead to an extensive period of inactivity that increases the risk of pneumonia and eventual death.
If your loved one falls while in the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility, and that fall results in your loved one’s death, either immediately or eventually, the facility may be responsible for wrongful death. Speak to a personal injury attorney at the Barkett Law Firm to determine whether you are eligible to collect compensation for your loved one’s medical bills and other expenses.