Why Do Falls Happen?
Falls often occur because residents try to get to the bathroom by themselves after they ring for help and no one appears — but about 35% of those injured in falls are unable to walk at all. Poor safety awareness resulting from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is a major factor. If a resident is cognitively impaired and incontinent, ample help with ambulation, transfers and toileting is key.
Motion-detector alarms, increased supervision, appropriate footwear, individualized toileting schedules, raised toilet seats, grab bars, handrails, beds set at a low height and a protective mat placed by the bed can help minimize falls and injuries. Residents who are prone to falling out of bed should be given the option of having guard rails on their bed.
Poor lighting, wet floors and extension cords stretched across the floor are other easily avoided hazards that all signal negligence on the part of the nursing home.
Nursing homes are required by law to perform a fall-risk assessment on every patient admitted, checking for gait disorders and other problems that predispose residents to falling. They must then implement an individualized fall-prevention plan. But because of inappropriately trained staff, many nursing homes simply use a standard form that fails to address each individual’s issues and needs.
The Bottom Line: Falls Shouldn’t Happen In Nursing Homes.
If you or a loved one have suffered falls in a nursing home. Nursing home abuse may exist in the nursing home. Please call or email The Rooth Law Firm for a free consultation. 877-356-3007.