Injuries from falls for nursing home residents account for an astounding 36 percent of avoidable visits to the hospital emergency room. Unfortunately, a large number of nursing home falls go unreported, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which annually receives 100-200 reports of such incidents from average-sized nursing homes. Slippery floors and inadequate lighting have been attributed to be the leading causes of nursing home falls, which cause almost 1,800 elderly deaths each year. It is the responsibility of nursing homes to prevent such incidents by educating staff about the fall risks and improving nursing home environment to make it safe for residents. The victim or a loved one can file a Kentucky nursing home neglect fall & injury lawsuit against the elderly care facility for breach of duty to provide standard care to the resident, which has caused them immense pain and suffering.
What is Slip & Fall?
Slip and fall-related injuries pose a major health threat to the elderly residents of nursing homes. When older people fall, they are more prone to severe injuries than people of any other age group. Their injuries may or may not heal, causing permanent damage, depression, functional decline, disability, psychological distress, feeling of helplessness, reduced independence, an increased fear of falling again, and social isolation.
What Causes A Slip & Fall?
Nursing home neglect is the primary cause of slip & fall in elderly care facilities, wherein despite knowledge of the resident’s medical condition, the elderly care facility provides sub-standard care or the staff is not available at the right time to assist patients with mobility issues. As a result, the risk of slip & fall increases. CDC reports that about 35% of slip & fall injuries occur among residents that face mobility issues and cannot walk. Dementia patients are at the greatest risk.
Nursing home falls are common as residents are typically 65 years and older and experience walking difficulties as a result of poor vision, drug side effects, muscle and bone density loss, and gait problems. However, if employees take adequate steps to supervise residents and provide them due care, nursing home neglect fall & injury cases can be preventable. Other causes of slip & fall in nursing homes include:
- Lack of necessary bedrails
- Improperly fitted wheelchairs
- Improper bed height
- Inadequate working call buttons
- Tripping hazards
- Understaffing that makes moving of patients difficult
- Poor foot care
- Gait problems
- Failure to adequately train staff and caregivers in lifting and handling methods
What Are the Effects of Nursing Home Neglect?
Each year, an average elderly care facility reports 100 to 200 falls, with the rate of falls in nursing homes twice those reported in communities.
Unfortunately, 50-75% of nursing home residents suffer a slip & fall each year, with 16-27% of falls being a result of environmental hazards, such as poor lighting, wet & slippery floors, inappropriately fitted wheelchairs, and incorrect bed height. The Kentucky nursing home negligence fall & injury incidents have extremely severe repercussions for some patients, with 10-20% nursing home falls causing serious injuries, including 2-6% fractures.
Nursing homes are responsible for closely monitoring the residents at risk, ensuring they receive adequate assistance and help with transfers to prevent them from slip & fall. Residents must be provided with walkers, non-skid footwear, bed rails, and arm chair with wheels locked at bedside to help prevent falls. Unfortunately, most elderly care facilities turn a blind eye to this aspect of elderly care. As a result, most elderly residents fall more than once a year, with some even losing their life to the injuries caused by slip & fall.
According to the CDC, nursing home residents in the age group of 65 account for at least 20% of slip & fall deaths per year, with an average of 2.6 falls per nursing home resident.
Since most falls are avoidable and occur as a result of the failure of elderly care facilities to implement precautions to address the risk of falls, their negligence makes them liable for a nursing home neglect fall & injury lawsuit. When the long-term care facility staff fail to properly supervise elderly residents, fall-related injuries are likely to occur.
To know more about your legal option to sue a nursing home for medical neglect, call at 1-800-632-1404 or contact us online to speak with our expert Kentucky nursing home attorney. Our Kentucky nursing home negligence fall & injury attorneys have successfully handled such cases wherein the long-term care facility was responsible for the slip & fall of the resident.