October 25, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- A study published this summer in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that one in five new nursing home residents fall in their first month of residency. Many of these accidents are preventable, caused by negligence on the part of the nursing home
or its staff.
The New Nursing Home Fall Study
Researchers found that 21 percent of 230,000 residents studied had experienced at least one fall within the first 30 days of their admittance to one of the 10,000 nursing homes included in the data. The study concluded that hiring more staff, especially certified nursing assistants trained to manually handle patients, would decrease the high fall rate, since falls occurred less frequently in homes with certified nursing assistants. These professionals assist residents with daily activities that put them at risk for falls, like using the bathroom or getting dressed.
Falls Cause Injury and Death in Elderly Residents
Nursing home falls
are a common occurrence at nursing homes, and all too often these events cause serious injury and even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1,800 seniors who live in nursing homes die every year from injuries related to falls, including hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries. While those over 65 account for only five percent of all nursing home residents, they experience one fifth of all deaths from falls in this age group.
A nursing home resident falls an average of 2.6 times in any given year. Unfortunately, the injuries from these incidents often increase the resident's length of stay at the nursing home. Falls can cause permanent disability and loss in quality of life, but the fear of falling can also be problematic for residents. Fear of falling may cause mental symptoms like feelings of helplessness, depression and isolation as well as a physical loss of function and mobility.
Fall Hazards Common in Nursing Homes
A variety of factors contribute to nursing home falls. The condition of the facility may present hazards, including the presence of slick or wet floors, poorly maintained wheelchairs and other equipment and poorly lit personal and common areas. The physical conditions of nursing home patients also play a role. Nursing home residents may have mobility problems and issues with gait, or may be frail or have weakness in their muscles. However, these physical conditions are a factor in only 24 percent of all nursing home falls.
Holding Nursing Homes Responsible for Injuries From Falls
Those injured in falls at nursing homes may be able to hold facilities and their employees responsible. Nursing homes have a duty of care and can be held accountable if they are negligent in this duty, including being negligent in the personal supervision and care of residents, failing to properly maintain their facility and equipment, and failing to hire or retain qualified employees.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a fall at a nursing home that could have been prevented if the home was not negligent, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
Article provided by Scott H. Palmer, P.C., Attorney at Law
Visit us at www.scottpalmerpilawyer.com---
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