According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury among older Americans (age 65+), encompassing traumatic brain injuries and fractures, among other conditions. Fatalities might not be immediate but eventually result due to medical complications. Non-fatal falls can severely impact quality of life.
Falls are frequently a reason why family members make the difficult decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home or assisted-living facility. Skilled nursing facilities have a legal obligation to thoroughly assess the health and needs of each individual resident, develop an effective care plan, and bring staff members up to speed on the plan. Some nursing home falls are accidental and unavoidable. Others, however, could have been prevented and may have occurred due to the following:
- Understaffing – Some facilities seek to reduce costs by cutting back on staff. Overworked employees get fatigued, lose focus, and make critical mistakes. Residents may tire of waiting for assistance and take on certain tasks themselves … and fall.
- Improper training – Some staff do not know how to properly monitor high-risk residents, or are inadequately trained on how to safely transfer patients (e.g., from a bed to a wheelchair).
- Medication errors – The wrong medications or incorrect dosages may cause dizziness, weakness, confusion, etc.
- Faulty medical equipment – A defective walker, wheelchair, lift, or bed rails might cause harm.
- Environmental hazards – Poor lighting, wet floors, and hallway/room obstacles elevate the risk of falls.
Between one-half and three-quarters of all nursing home residents fall each year, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics.
Nursing Home Attorney
If your loved one is injured in a fall due to negligence, contact a nursing home attorney to protect their rights. Schedule a free consultation today to start working with the best criminal attorneys in New Hampshire.