Seniors move into nursing homes and assisted living facilities for a variety of reasons. Some can no longer care for themselves adequately, some may require specialized or comprehensive care and attention, and some may have physical or cognitive limitations that preclude them from living independently. But all seniors in nursing homes have one thing in common: they are particularly vulnerable to falls, and those falls can and often do have catastrophic consequences.
When nursing homes and assisted living facilities fail to take necessary steps to minimize the risk of these falls, when they allow hazardous conditions, or when their neglect or indifference results in a resident falling and suffering a severe injury, they can be held accountable for their negligence. The Brothers Law Firm represents nursing home residents and their families who are suffering as a result of a nursing home fall.
Falls Are a Leading Health Risk for Seniors and an Even Bigger Risk For Nursing Home Residents
Falls are a huge health risk faced by senior citizens generally and nursing home residents in particular. Consider these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- 2.5 million seniors are treated in emergency rooms each year for injuries from falls.
- One in three adults over age 65 fall every year.
- Such falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults.
- In 2011, about 22,900 American adults died from unintentional injuries resulting from falls.
The problem is even worse in nursing homes. According to the CDC:
- Between 50% and 70% of nursing home residents suffer from a fall each year, a rate twice as large as the rate of falls for seniors who live independently.
- Even though the CDC estimates that roughly 5% of those age 65 and older are nursing home residents, those residents make up 20% of all senior deaths resulting from a fall.
- Between 10% and 20% of nursing home falls cause severe injuries and approximately 1,800 nursing home residents die every year as a result of falls.
Why Falls Are So Dangerous for Seniors
Falls are particularly dangerous for seniors and nursing home residents because many of them are frail or have vulnerabilities, conditions, or disabilities such that even minor falls can result in exacerbation of conditions and lead to further complications. Seniors’ bodies just do not handle or recover from trauma as effectively as they used to. Making matters worse, the fear of falling can cause seniors to reduce their movement and activity, which actually increases the chances of a fall.
Falls Caused by Nursing Home Negligence
While not all falls are preventable, many falls in nursing homes are the direct consequence of the failure to adequately protect residents from known risks or the presence of conditions which increase the likelihood of falls. Some of the conduct which can support a claim of nursing home negligence arising from a fall injury include:
- Failure to complete a required fall-risk assessment for each resident
- Failure to provide specialized medical equipment or beds to prevent falls
- Failure to maintain clean and safe rooms and common areas
- Broken or damaged wheelchairs
- Inadequate lighting or handrails
- Uncleaned spills or other hazards
- Improperly trained staff
- Negligent transfer of a resident in or out of bed
- Inadequate supervision of an at-risk resident
- Unnecessary medications
Justice for Texas and Their Families
At The Brothers Law Firm, we are committed to ensuring justice and demand respect for our seniors and their families. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a nursing home fall, please contact us at 281-491-3635 to arrange for your free initial consultation.