Elderly nursing home residents can suffer serious injuries after slips, trips and falls. From broken bones to torn ligaments, the injuries can be painful, long lasting and ultimately lead to problems in mobility. A nursing home’s staff is responsible for keeping the facility clean and safe for those who have difficulty in getting around unaided. If they are negligent in their duties, people can get seriously injured.
While intrinsic risk factors such as medication side effects and poor balance cannot be discredited, it is crucial to understand the danger of environmental hazards. These extrinsic risk factors should be immediately apparent and corrected by the nursing home staff. Common examples can include:
- Improperly installed bedrails
- Fatigued wheelchair brakes
- Uneven, cracked or torn flooring
- Unstable furniture
- Inadequate lighting
- Cluttered living space
- Cluttered or narrow walkways
- Improperly installed handrails
- Uncleaned spills
The nursing home staff must take steps to ensure the safety of elderly residents and their visitors by maintaining common areas at all times.
Unfortunately, falls are common in a nursing home setting due to the combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. They can lead to devastating consequences including a reduced quality of life, decreases in movement ability, restriction of activities and serious, potentially fatal, injuries.
Falls can lead to injuries including:
- Broken hands, arms and wrists as individuals attempt to break the fall
- Broken hips and legs depending on the nature and position of the fall
- Shoulder or hip dislocation
- Cracked ribs
- Ligament or tendon damage
- Head trauma
- Back injuries or spinal cord damage
Additionally, elderly residents might suffer emotional harm including the fear of falls in the future. If you see evidence of a poorly maintained nursing home or learn that your loved one has fallen at the facility, it is wise to call a legal professional for guidance.