When nursing homes fail to implement proper precautions to address a resident’s risk for falls, and the resident is injured, family members should take action. Although some falls are unavoidable, oftentimes falls in nursing homes are a sign of nursing home negligence. When staff cannot properly supervise monitor residents, fall related injuries are more likely to occur.
Nursing home falls are common because residents are typically older and have difficulty walking due to muscle and bone density loss, medication side effects, poor vision and gait problems. However, nursing home falls are often preventable if employees take the proper steps to supervise and protect residents under their care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,800 nursing home residents die from fall related injuries every year, and those who survive often suffer debilitating injuries from which they never fully recover.
Nursing home staff plays an important role in protecting the safety of residents as they move about the facility. When a patient is admitted into a nursing home, staff must assess his or her risks for falls and identify and implement interventions to address these risks. Reassessments should occur after any fall or change in medical condition. Residents at risk should be monitored closely and receive assistance with transfers to prevent them from falling. Bed rails, non-skid footwear, appropriate arm chair with wheels locked at bedside, walkers and canes can be used to help prevent falls.