Learn How Nursing Homes are TRIPPING Residents from Our St. Louis Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer: Missouri Fall Risk Residents
Nursing homes are practically tripping their residents. Yes, tripping their own residents. Our St. Louis nursing home neglect lawyer knows that falls are a major problem for elderly residents. The CDC reports that over 27,000 older adults die each year because of falls and another 2.8 million were treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries. Another CDC study also reports that one out of five falls cause serious personal injury such as a broken bone or traumatic brain injury (TBI), and further that the fall death rate has increased 30% from 2007 until present. A large reason for this increase is because people are living longer and that the baby boomer generation is transitioning to nursing homes and residential care community. Because of this, falls should be at the forefront of all nursing home’s risk management plan.
But it is not. While some nursing homes and rehabilitation centers adequately guard against the risk of falls, some facilities are actually enhancing the fall risk. This could be nursing home neglect and abuse. Some ways that nursing homes actually increase the risks of falling include the following:
- Adding rugs or carpets that could bunch up to common areas and rooms;
- Using tubs that residents have to step up and into;
- Leaving legs of furniture exposed, like beds or tables that are not enclosed on the sides;
- Not using bed alarms on high risk patients;
- Having steps, particularly areas of only 1-3 steps or without handrails;
- Inadequate lighting in hallways;
- Having furniture near beds that can cause problems getting into and out of bed;
- Using decorative items like plants or pots in areas where people may be walking; and
- Many other issues.
These are such basic issues that should be fixed for all that live and work in the nursing home. When a Missouri nursing home resident falls due to one of these risks, a nursing home, rehabilitation center, or other community care facility could be liable for the fall and any injuries caused by the fall.
Why Are Some Residents Fall Risks? Warning Signs
Fall risk residents are those residents who are likely or highly likely to fall on their own, or in some instances with supervision. This could be due to a number of physical, cognitive, or environmental reasons. Those who are at a high risk for falling include the following types of residents:
- Rehabbing from lower limb, hip, or back surgery;
- Headaches or dizziness;
- Low blood pressure;
- Issues with insulin, blood sugar, or other diabetic residents;
- Injuries to the feet;
- Impaired vision;
- Recovering from any surgery;
- Those with heart problems;
- Improperly fitting footwear; or
- Other ailments.
What Can Nursing Homes Do About Fall Risk Patients?
With proper care, a nursing home or treatment facility can mitigate or completely eliminate the risks of falling for certain residents. This includes marked a resident as a fall risk and even using a certain bracelet to identify that resident. Having bed alarms or other early warning devices which let staff know when a resident is trying to sneak out of bed is also important to get intervention and assistance present. When some residents are too difficult to manage, moving furniture away from the sides of the bed and adding soft mats on the floor are two important measures to help mitigate injuries from a fall.
With certain very high risk residents a staff member should be directly supervising that resident. Where a resident may be difficult to hold or maneuver, such as a larger resident or in a very risky area such as a shower, multiple staff members may be necessary to help manage and protect the resident from a fall.
Residents That are Fall Risks and Fall in a Missouri Nursing Home Should Call Our St. Louis Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
Nursing homes that fail to identify a resident as a fall risk and take basic precautions against the risk of falls are literally tripping their residents to worse health. Even rudimentary adjustments can make a nursing home significantly safer for residents who may be a fall risk. If you or a loved one has fallen in a nursing home, ask our St. Louis nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer to review your claim by dialing (314) 334-1441 to schedule a FREE consultation. We have over 18 years of experience in handling severe nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, and nursing home malpractice cases throughout Missouri.