While there are many adequate nursing homes in the U.S. that take pride in caring for our nation’s elders, there are also many inadequate facilities that do not properly care for their residents. Elders deserve to live out their remaining years with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
When elders suffer physical harm, it takes them much longer to heal than it would take a child or younger adult with the same injuries. This is one of the reasons it is so devastating when elders suffer injuries in nursing homes.
Another reason it is so upsetting for elders to suffer injuries in nursing homes is that the cost of living in a nursing home is astronomical. When you’ve had to make the tough decision to place your loved one in a nursing home, you likely did lots of research to find the best facility for your budget. Learning that your family member has been injured as a result of negligence can be very frustrating and upsetting.
These are five of the most common injuries elders sustain in nursing homes:
#1 - Falls
Falls are a major problem in nursing homes. Annually, about half of the 1.6 million residents in U.S. nursing homes suffer a fall. Of those who fall, roughly one in three fall more than once a year.
Those who aren’t injured as a result of a fall often acquire a fear of falling that prompts a self-imposed limitation of activity. One in 10 elders who suffer a fall sustain a serious injury.
When nursing home negligence leads to a fall, it’s usually a result of:
- Environmental hazards
- Unsafe equipment
- Unsafe personal care items
#2 - Bedsores
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, develop as a result of a resident staying in the same position for too long. This puts prolonged pressure on the skin, which is a prime condition leading to bedsores. These wounds tend to develop most commonly on certain body parts, including the:
Elders who cannot move independently need consistent help turning over or shifting positions to reduce pressure. Bedsores often develop as a result of nursing home negligence, typically due to overworked and understaffed facilities.
#3 - Medication Errors
It’s common for nursing home residents to require several medications just to get through the day. Most nursing homes house over 100 residents, which makes it easy to see how medication errors can be so common.
When the staff in a nursing home fail to follow pharmaceutical directives, patients can easily become distressed. These negligent facilities must be held accountable for their actions when elders suffer as a result.
#4 - Infections
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated one to three million severe infections occur in:
- Nursing homes
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Assisted living facilities
Sadly, about 400,000 nursing home residents lose their lives each year as a result of infections. Some of the most common infections residents suffer include:
- Respiratory infections
- Skin and soft tissue infections
- Urinary tract infections
Nursing home staff should be aware of patients’ health conditions and do everything possible to prevent infections. When nursing home facilities fail to protect residents from infections, it is usually the result of negligence.
#5 - Broken Bones
As people age, their bones become weaker and more brittle. This puts elders at a higher risk of dangerous hip and neck fractures.
About 300,000 elders are hospitalized for hip fractures each year. Of those who suffer hip fractures, women make up three-quarters of the population.
Most nursing home residents are admitted to a facility because they are no longer able to care for themselves independently. When nursing home facilities fail to properly assist residents, injuries such as broken bones can easily occur.
If your loved one has suffered an injury in a nursing home facility, you may be owed compensation. After all, you spend enormous amounts of money to keep your family member comfortable and safe, and having your trust betrayed can be devastating. Don’t delay—contact our office right away with any questions you may have.
Contact the skilled team at The Rooth Law Firm right away to discuss the details of your case by calling (800) 598-4348 or filling out our online contact form.