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Keeping Nursing Home Residents Safe from Fall Accidents

December 31, 1969

Our Costa Mesa nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers have recently been discussing the safety of your elderly loved ones and the responsibility of the nursing homes and care facilities in the state. We're going to now focus in on one of the top causes of injury and death for our elderly residents -- falls.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls among the residents of nursing homes happen often. Officials estimate that about 2,000 elderly residents of nursing homes are killed each year as the result of fall-related injuries. The ones who are lucky enough to survive oftentimes suffer some pretty serious injuries, like hip fractures and head injuries that can even result in permanent damage and can reduce their quality of life.

Nursing homes have a responsibility to make sure that the grounds are safe for residents and everyone else involved. Prevention of these kinds of accidents required environmental accommodations, rehabilitation efforts and needed medical treatment. It's important to make sure that grounds are inspected frequently and that dangers are addressed immediately. Staff members should be educated about the risks of falls and various ways to help to prevent these incidents.

It's important that staff members keep an eye on the medications being prescribed to each resident. It's important to look at the risks associated with each medication as well as the benefits.

But why are falls so common in nursing homes? These kinds of accidents can be a sign of serious health problems. Residents of nursing homes typically have higher risks of fall accidents than other elderly residents in the community. The older a resident is the higher their risks. Unfortunately, these residents are more likely to have memory problems, thought problems and other kinds of cognitive disabilities, all of which make them more likely to experience a fall accident. Most importantly, these residents need help getting around and they need help to do so safely.

It's estimated that there were close to 3 million residents over the age of 64 who lived in nursing homes in 2003. About 5 percent of our currently elderly residents live in a nursing home. Unfortunately, falls account for about 20 percent of all of the fatalities among this age group. According to officials with the CDC, a typical nursing home with 100 beds sees anywhere between 100 and 200 falls each year. Many of these falls go unreported.

Families and nursing home staff members are asked to make sure that the elderly individuals in their lives and at their facilities are participating in exercise programs that can help to improve their strength, balance, walking ability and physical functioning. Staff members are also asked to ensure that grounds are safe for everyone.

If you suspect nursing home negligence, contact Howard Law, PC today and ask for your free case evaluation. Call today at (800) 872-5925.

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