Falls in Nursing Homes

Injuries from falls are a major threat to the health and well-being of residents of nursing homes. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of injuries and injury-related deaths among senior citizens. In 2010, over 662,000 senior citizens were hospitalized due to fall-related injuries. Adults who are residents of nursing homes are more likely to suffer from a fall, and to be seriously injured, than non-residents. If you, or a loved one, are the resident of a nursing home, you need to know the following facts:

  • 1,800 adults living in nursing homes die each year from fall-related injuries
  • 10-20% of nursing home falls result in serious injuries
  • 50-75% of nursing home residents have a fall each year
  • 35% of nursing home falls occur to residents who are unable to walk

Falls by nursing home residents can lead to serious long-term disabilities and even death. Many nursing homes fail to adequately train staff members in how to prevent falls in residents. Troublingly, most falls by residents of nursing homes go unreported. The following types of injuries may be a sign that your loved one has suffered a fall while under the care of a nursing home:

Common Injuries from Falls by Nursing Home Residents:

  • Fractures/Broken Bones (including hip, pelvis, spine, leg, hand and arm)
  • Head Trauma/Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Internal Injuries
  • Lacerations/Bruising
  • Psychological Effects (including depression and social isolation)

When a nursing home fails to adequately protect its residents from the dangers of falling, it may be liable for negligence.

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Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect:

  • Failure to provide medical treatment and follow-up care to residents
  • Injuries/falls due to a lack of supervision and attentive care by staff members
  • Injuries due to attacks by other residents
  • Lack of hygiene (including lack of baths for residents)
  • Ulcers/pressure sores
  • Use of chemical restraints (sedatives) and over-medication

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If you, or a family member, have been the victim of neglect in a nursing home

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