As individuals age, their bones often become brittle. They also tend to develop balance problems, lose visual acuity and have diminished muscle mass. Each of these can contribute to slips, trips and falls. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls send approximately 3 million American seniors to emergency rooms every single year.
If you have a loved one who lives in a nursing home, you expect professionals there to keep him or her reasonably safe. Certainly, nursing home staff should take steps to keep your relative from falling. After all, most nursing home falls are entirely preventable.
One of the more common reasons for falls in nursing homes comes from inadequate staffing. That is, when there are too few workers, residents do not receive enough assistance when walking, getting out of bed, toileting, bathing or engaging in other potentially risky activities.
Beds, wheelchairs, hoists and other pieces of equipment often require adjustment to fit the needs of each nursing home resident. If the staff fails to make proper adjustments, a fall might be more likely. The same is true if nursing home professionals use old, defective or damaged equipment.
Because seniors are more vulnerable to falls, nursing home staff should quickly clean up spilled liquids. They also should declutter hallways and rooms to prevent nursing home residents from tripping and falling. Unfortunately, though, floor hazards remain all too common in many nursing homes.
Ultimately, if the negligence of nursing home professionals causes or contributes to your loved one’s fall, he or she might be eligible for substantial financial compensation for injuries.