Falls in nursing homes are the most common cause of the need for immediate hospitalization or a resident, and unfortunately, they often result in broken bones. Unlike a younger person, a broken bone in a senior citizen can potentially have life-threatening consequences.
Any Injury Should Be Investigated by the Nursing Home
Anytime a nursing home patient breaks a bone, there should be an immediate investigation as to the cause. While some falls are unavoidable, it’s possible that the facility or staff broke protocol and/or acted negligently. Falls can occur for a variety of reasons, and common causes include:
- Dropped by nursing home staff - Staff at any nursing home should always be adequately trained in moving and controlling a patient as they are regularly required to lift residents off beds or from chairs. Improper training and poor staffing is a real concern that can lead to a patient being dropped, causing them to suffer a serious break.
- Poor or inadequate lighting
- Dangerous flooring (spills, objects on the floor, broken tiles, cracks)
- Defective bed railings
- Defective furniture
- Failure to teach patients how to use walking devices
- Inadequate supervision/training
- Undetected injury - Sadly, in some instances a patient will fall and the nursing home is unaware that the patient broke a bone and in turn failed to have them checked out at a hospital. These instances are extremely disturbing. The best way to guard against an undiagnosed injury is to regularly check up on your loved one and observe whether or not they appear to be experiencing any new or unexplained signals of discomfort that have gone undetected.
There are several examples of precautions a nursing home can employ to minimize the risk of a fall. Two such examples may include, slip-resistant shoes and/or sensors that detect when a patient is trying to get out of bed without the help of a nurse. When preventative measures such as these are not employed, a facility may be held liable for damages in the event of a fall.
Unfortunately, broken bones are much more common for senior citizens inside a nursing home or assisted living facility than for elderly who live at home.
Our Attorneys Are Here to Fight Neglect and Abuse in Nursing Homes
If your loved one has fallen or been dropped while in the care of a nursing facility, our Albuquerque injury lawyer can offer a free evaluation of any potential abuse claim and also give you immediate advice that can protect your loved one’s potential nursing home abuse case.