Preventing falls in nursing homes

Many Americans are getting older and facing serious health problems. However, many families are not equipped to deal with serious medical issues. Therefore, they rely on nursing homes to take care of their elderly family members. Nursing homes are supposed to provide a safe place for elderly people to live and to receive the medical care that they need.

However, nursing homes often fail to live up to these expectations. Many people are injured in nursing homes for a variety of different reasons. One problem that nursing homes experience are falls. Falls account for 20 percent of deaths that occur in nursing homes each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A nursing home with 100 beds can expect to report between 100 and 200 falls in their facility each year. This is despite the fact that many falls will go unreported.

The statistic show how important fall prevention in nursing homes is to residents and their families. Many steps can be taken in order to prevent falls in these facilities. The CDC claims that physical restrains often fail to prevent falls. Limiting patients’ freedom of movement can weaken their muscles and can lead to more accidents. Instead, the staff should work at making the environment easier for residents to move around in. They should also assess each individual’s medications to determine if they increase the risk of falls to that individual.

Other changes in the environment, like grab bars, can help to prevent falls in a nursing home. Raising the toilet seats, lowering bed heights and installing handrails can all be important preventative fall measures.

Even with preventative measures in place, falls can still occur at nursing homes. If a fall is the result of someone’s negligent conduct, family members may have legal recourse. Nursing home abuse is an unfortunate reality for many people in nursing homes. If nursing home negligence or abuse leads to injuries, families may have the right to compensation. An Illinois elder abuse attorney can help to explain these rights further.