Despite governmental regulations and increasing attention by the media, falls continue to be one of the leading causes of injury and death in nursing homes. Recent statistics show that over three out of four nursing home residents will fall within the next year, and the average resident falls 2.6 times per year. A typical resident has a one out of five chance of sustaining a serious injury in the next year due to a fall. What is most frightening is the fact that many falls go unreported.
As with many injuries that occur in nursing homes, falls may also be prevented. If you or a loved one resides in a nursing home and has been injured by a fall, you may have a nursing home abuse and neglect case. We strongly encourage you to consult with an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney as soon as possible to explore your legal remedies.
Common Causes of Falls in Nursing Homes
Many falls that occur in nursing homes are the result of inadequate supervision, assistance, or assistive devices. Here are some of the more common conditions that lead to falls:
- Inability to walk – Many residents have weak muscles or other physical disabilities that do not allow them to move about safely without assistance or assistive devices. Residents who are under the influence of sedatives and other medications are also at risk of falling. Nearly a third of all nursing home resident falls are attributed to this. Competent caregivers know who is at risk for falling and should do whatever is necessary to prevent these accidents.
- Understaffing – Falls may be related to understaffing in nursing homes Residents are often left unattended for hours. We have received many calls from family members who report that their loved one fell because they had been left alone with no hope of help. Those patients may have been left in bed in their own waste, left sitting on a commode so long that their buttocks and legs are numb or left sitting in a hallway. Frustrated and in pain, they struggle to help themselves and fall sustaining broken bones and head injuries.
- Environmental hazards – Wet floors, poor lighting, and inadequate warning signs around maintenance and repair sites account for another quarter of resident falls.
- Faulty equipment or maintenance – Poorly-maintained wheelchairs, walkers, beds, railings and other assistive equipment also result in serious injuries every year.
Falls can cause many serious injuries and long-term disabilities. Our law firm includes lawyers who understand the pain and suffering that result from falls. If you live in the Arizona area, and you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a fall that you believe was caused by negligent nursing home personnel, please contact our experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys with extensive medical backgrounds, at Cullan & Cullan today to arrange your case evaluation.