Frequent falls can be a sign of nursing home neglect

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Nursing Home Negligence |

When people entrust loved ones to nursing homes, they expect nothing but the best. However, sometimes the signs of subpar care aren’t always obvious. One such indicator might be hiding in plain sight: The frequency of falls among residents.

The prevalence of falls in nursing homes

Falls are alarmingly common in long-term care facilities. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, about 1.6 million older adults live in assisted living facilities, and each year, approximately half of them experience a fall. Alarming data show that an older adult who falls once is twice as likely to fall again.

Frequent falls raise red flags

While occasional falls can happen even with the best care, a pattern of frequent falls may indicate deeper issues. Proper nursing home care includes:

  • Regular assessments of fall risks: These assessments help identify residents who are at higher risk of falling. This can help determine which residents need extra care.
  • Implementation of preventive measures: Preventive measures may include providing assistive devices, adjusting medication schedules or offering physical therapy to improve balance and strength.
  • Prompt attention to environmental hazards: This involves regularly inspecting the facility for potential hazards like wet floors, poor lighting or cluttered walkways and addressing them immediately.

When these protocols are neglected, residents become more vulnerable to falls. Inadequate staffing, poor training or failure to address known risks could all contribute to an increased frequency of falls.

Critical consequences

The impact of falls on older adults can be devastating. The National Council on Aging reports that falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans. Beyond physical injuries, falls can lead to a fear of falling. It can also cause decreased mobility, reducing the quality of life.

To safeguard residents in their golden years, it’s crucial to understand how repeated falls might signal potential neglect. If you notice a pattern of falls or injuries in your loved one’s care facility, do not hesitate to ask questions and seek answers. You may also consider reaching out to legal professionals who may help you address these concerns and advocate for better care.