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Nursing Home Falls Are Warning Signs of Neglect

55290731_S_senior_citizen_nursing_home_nurse.jpgWe place our loved ones in nursing homes and other assisted care facilities with the expectation that they will receive professional and compassionate care. The last thing we would want for them is that they would experience abuse or neglect at the hands of these caregivers.

But in many facilities, that is exactly what happens all too often. Many nursing home citations for violating established federal standards for safety and care stem from neglect and abuse that result in resident illness and unnecessary accidents, and even death.

Nursing Home Residents Frequently Experience Slip and Fall Injuries

The number one preventable reason that brings nursing home residents to hospital emergency rooms is having been injured in a slip and fall accident.

Nursing home residents are vulnerable to falling. They are older and not in good health, often with balance problems, dizziness, heart problems or muscle weakness. Many prescription medications can cause dizziness or light-headedness. Some residents have cognitive issues that may make them unsteady on their feet or impulsive.

Transferring the patient to and from the bed and wheelchair and walker is a high-risk scenario for a fall. The staff member may not have the proper strength or training. Many falls also occur in bathrooms when residents move on and off the toilet or in and out of the shower.

For this population, a fall may result in serious injuries such as:

· Traumatic brain injury (TBI) including concussion

· Bone fractures of the hip, femur, pelvis or skull

· Brain bleed

Further health complications may follow as the resident tries to recover from these injuries. Pneumonia may set in due to extended periods of recuperation and bed sores are also a risk.

Preventing Nursing Home Falls

Not all falls can be prevented, but nursing home staff may take steps to reduce the risk of these accidents on their residents. The staff must be "on the job" physically and mentally at all times to stay focused on their charges, especially those with disabilities, dementia and memory problems.

Facility management must be responsive to hazards such as poor lighting, spills, floor debris and slippery conditions. Residents must have the right footwear and walking aids and bed safety rails must be frequently tested.

An injury experienced by a nursing home resident in a fall may be a warning sign of neglect. If you are concerned about your loved one who is in a nursing home or other assisted living facility, bring your issues to the facility manager. If you still have concerns, contact your local Adult Protective Services agency via the National Council on Aging at 800-677-1116.

We Can Help If You Have Been Injured in a Nursing Home

If you or a family member has been harmed by a car accident, truck accident, construction accident, slip and fall or any other type of personal injury, please contact StolzenbergCortelli, LLC Attorneys at Law immediately. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorneys Howard Stolzenberg and Terrence James Cortelli, personal injury attorneys in White Plains, Nyack and New York City, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 800-494-0889 or contact us via the website.

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