With around 5 percent of people age 65 or older living in nursing homes, it’s important to reduce the number of falls that take place to prevent injury, disability and death. Ten to 20 percent of falls result in serious injuries, with 2 to 6 percent resulting in fractures. Patients who suffer these injuries often take longer to heal and suffer a reduced quality of life. Their fear of falling in the future can also reduce their function and result in social isolation. Those who are severely injured may not survive a fall due to age and health factors.
How often do falls take place in nursing homes?
It’s estimated that around 1,800 adults living in nursing homes die every year due to fall-related injuries. If they survive the fall, they’re more likely to suffer injuries resulting in permanent disabilities and a reduced quality of life.
Why are falls common in nursing homes?
There are a number of factors, from the patient’s age to the setup of a room. Muscle weakness is more common as people age, which can change their gaits or result in problems walking. Wet floors, poor lighting and even a bed’s height can influence the patient’s risk of falling.
How can falls be prevented?
The first step is to make sure patients are assessed properly. Putting in grab bars, raised seating and other helpful tools to make getting around a room easier is also a good option.
If you’ve lost a loved one due to a fall at a nursing home, you aren’t alone. Our website has more information on the steps you can take to file a wrongful death claim.