Falls are not an inevitable part of nursing home life
Photo of Attorneys T. Noel Brooks and Jesse Baez walking outside.
Photo of T. Noel Brooks and Jesse Baez

Falls are not an inevitable part of nursing home life

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Personal Injury

Falls are a major safety concern for older adults. Those in their 50s and beyond could suffer injuries in a fall that could impact their overall health and quality of life. The effects of aging may make a fall more likely and may also affect someone’s ability to physically recover from fall injuries.

Families sometimes move their loved ones into a nursing home because they recently fell or because they worry that a fall could occur at any time due to someone’s functional limitations. Sadly, even those paying thousands of dollars per month for regular support in nursing homes could fall and get injured. Families may need to pay close attention to such scenarios to determine if neglect led to their loved one’s fall.

Most falls are preventable with the right help

Older adults in nursing homes should be able to ask for help when they need to get dressed, engage in personal grooming or otherwise handle daily activities that might lead to a fall. Nursing homes should keep enough workers scheduled to meet the routine needs of residents in a timely manner. Understaffing can leave people waiting for bathroom assistance or meals and might directly lead to them falling when they try to manage things on their own.

The failure of a facility to conduct a full risk assessment could also increase an older adult’s risk of losing their balance and getting hurt. Assessment during intake and occasional reevaluation as someone ages can help nursing homes more fully meet the needs of vulnerable residents. Helping residents obtain, maintain and effectively use assistive technology, like walkers, can also reduce fall risk.

Unfortunately, nursing homes often do not make fall prevention as much of a priority as they should give in how dangerous a fall can be for older adults. The family members of someone who suffers a preventable and injurious fall may need to consider pursuing a nursing home neglect lawsuit against the facility that didn’t meet their loved one’s needs and keep them safe from predictable challenges.

Recognizing what situations could constitute nursing home neglect may help families better advocate for vulnerable adults dependent on others for daily care needs. Family members may need to be the ones to speak up and take legal action when an older adult doesn’t get proper support in a nursing home.