In a nursing home, some of the world’s most vulnerable people rely on help and support from the team. They are there because of physical or mental health needs as they age, to recover from injuries or to transition from the hospital to home.
In nursing homes, one of the major risks to patients is falling. Falls are fairly common in nursing homes, with around half of the 1.6 million nursing home residents falling each year.
The trouble with falls is that they often do have serious consequences. Falls can:
- Lead to self-imposed limitations of activity
- Cause hip fractures
- Lead to a reduced quality of life
- Cause serious injuries
- Decrease the ability to function normally
- Increase the risk of death
How can nursing homes help? They can use at least these three methods of fall prevention.
To start with, nursing homes can improve their lighting. Older individuals may struggle to balance or see in low-light situations. Better lighting can prevent them from tripping or falling over items they otherwise wouldn’t see.
Keep living spaces free of clutter
Another important step for nursing homes to take is to limit the clutter in the hallways and in patients’ rooms. If there will be medical equipment or items in the halls, they should be placed out of the way of where patients walk.
Improve response times
Many times, falls occur when patients try to get to the bathroom or need to get up by themselves. If a call light is pressed, the nursing home staff should respond to it as quickly as possible.
These are just three of many steps nursing homes can take to prevent falls. If a nursing home your loved one is in doesn’t take these or other important steps, then they could be held liable if your loved one falls.