Nursing homes provide an environment for older adults requiring assistance with daily living. A common issue within these facilities is the risk of falls, which can lead to catastrophic injuries such as hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Understanding and addressing these risks can dramatically improve the safety and well-being of residents.
The gravity of fall-related injuries
Falls are the leading cause of injuries among the elderly. The aftermath can range from minor bruises to more severe outcomes such as fractures. Hip fractures, in particular, are a common result of falls, often leading to decreased mobility and quality of life. A fall can also result in TBIs, which can cause cognitive impairment, mood changes and other serious health problems.
Unique risk factors in nursing homes
The risk of falls is amplified in nursing homes due to various factors. These include age-related physical changes, chronic health conditions, medications that cause dizziness or confusion and environmental hazards. Factors such as inadequate staffing or insufficient training can also contribute to the risk.
Strategies to reduce fall risk
There are numerous strategies to manage and reduce fall risks in nursing homes. Regular risk assessments can help identify residents who may be at increased risk. This involves evaluating a resident’s overall health, reviewing their medications and assessing their mobility and balance.
Environmental modifications such as adequate lighting, non-slip flooring, and adequately maintained assistive devices can also significantly reduce falls. Staff training on fall prevention techniques and prompt fall response are equally crucial.
Residents who suffer harm because of a fall in a nursing home will need prompt care. They may opt to pursue a claim for compensation to help cover the costs of the medical care and other financial damages they incur because of the fall.