What are common causes of falls in nursing homes?
In the U.S., around 1,800 people die in nursing homes from falls each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In Georgia, as elsewhere in the country, older people are more susceptible in general to physical harm from falls, but the rate of severe injury and premature death increases for nursing home residents. Your elder loved one stands a better chance of avoiding critical injury if you can spot a dangerous situation before it causes suffering.
Your elder loved one may fall because it is harder to get around than it used to be. The CDC states that diminished gait and mobility problems account for 24 percent of nursing home falls. In addition, adjustments to new medications can affect the ability to move from one place to another without risk of injury. The following environmental conditions can greatly contribute to your loved one’s compromised safety:
- Bad lighting
- Wet floors
- Beds and chairs that are too high
- Insufficient hand rails and grab bars
- Toilet seats that are too low
Improper use of a walking device can lead to a fall, as well. You may be able to prevent a fall and subsequent injury by drawing attention to poor conditions. If the property owner or facility management fails to acknowledge or improve the situation, you can report their negligence to the appropriate authorities.
Nursing home falls can lead to significant reduction in quality of life. A multi-tiered approach of assessment, training and facility oversight can help prevent your senior loved one from taking a debilitating tumble.