As individuals age, their bones often become brittle. Accordingly, a fall that may not injure a younger person may be catastrophic for an older one. If you have an elderly mother or father in a nursing home, you expect the facility’s staff to take steps to prevent falls. That may not always happen, though.
The National Council on Aging reports that falls are the primary cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older Americans. The nursing home where your loved one lives has a duty to minimize fall risk. If your parent falls inside the nursing home, negligence may be to blame. Here are four negligence-related reasons that a person may fall in a care facility:
- Sloppy evaluations
When a resident moves into a nursing home, the staff there should perform an evaluation, including a fall-risk assessment. A few different factors may affect a person’s propensity to fall, including medical conditions, medication and fall history. If the staff at the nursing home does not properly evaluate your relative, they may not be able to adequately protect him or her.
- Insufficient training
Nursing home workers may help your loved one walk, bathe, eat or otherwise move. If a health care professional receives insufficient training, though, he or she may not know how to keep your aging parent from falling.
- Understaffed facilities
Even though many nursing homes have several residents, some have staffing problems. If there are not enough workers to monitor residents regularly, a fall may be imminent. Furthermore, if your relative lives in an understaffed nursing home, help may not arrive quickly after a fall.
- Maintenance problems
To promote resident safety, nursing home administrators must quickly identify and remedy maintenance issues. If nursing facilities have damaged flooring, pooled water, broken equipment or other problems, your loved one may sustain a serious injury.
Because a fall may be disastrous for your elderly relative, you must understand why nursing home falls typically occur. If you suspect that staff at the facility is not doing enough to protect your parent, you also must act quickly to remedy the situation.