Falls are a major cause of injuries and fatalities in nursing homes across Delaware and the rest of the nation, and many such falls are preventable. Many nursing home falls also share similar characteristics in common. Learning how to mitigate the factors that make older adults more susceptible to falls is something most nursing homes need to make more of an effort to do.
Per the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, about half of all American nursing home residents fall on a regular basis. About a third of those who do fall each year fall more than twice each year.
Consequences of nursing home falls
In addition to suffering serious injuries that may make it difficult for residents to feed, clothe or otherwise fend for themselves, falls also impact older adults in other ways. Nursing home residents who fall and hurt themselves may fear being mobile afterward. They may decrease their level of physical activity as a result, which impacts everything from flexibility to strength. Nursing home residents who fall may also find that their falls impact their overall quality of life, with some fall victims starting to isolate themselves in their rooms due to fears of falling again.
Prevention methods for nursing home falls
Many nursing home residents fall because there are not enough staff members to help them get around when the need arises. They then try to move about themselves, and this often leads to falls. Environmental factors, such as loose wires or carpeting or dimly lit hallways or common areas, are also frequent factors in falls.
The older a resident is, the more likely he or she may be to suffer a serious, potentially life-altering injury or fatality in a nursing home fall.