Falls are a significant concern in nursing homes. They present a major risk to the health and well-being of residents. Unfortunately, these incidents are alarmingly frequent and can lead to serious consequences.
It’s essential to understand the causes and effects of falls. This enables long-term care facilities, patients and their loved ones the chance to address safety issues proactively and injurious incidents in informed ways.
Causes of falls
Slippery floors, poor lighting, improperly maintained equipment and walkway obstacles can contribute to residents falling. These hazards are particularly dangerous for individuals with mobility or vision impairments.
Conditions like muscle weakness, balance disorders and cognitive impairments also increase the likelihood of falls. Medications that affect balance or cognitive function can also lead to falls.
Insufficient staffing is another issue that can lead to falls. Residents who are mobility-challenged and try to get around themselves may suffer a fall that could have been prevented if they had appropriate assistance.
Prevention of falls
Regular risk assessments should consider each resident’s physical condition, medication regimen and environmental factors. Residents who have a fall risk should receive appropriate care to prevent problems. Installing grab bars, improving lighting and ensuring floors are non-slip and free of hazards can prevent falls. Educating staff on fall prevention and proper techniques for assisting residents is crucial.
Effects of falls
Falls often result in physical injuries like fractures, bruises or head trauma. These injuries can be particularly severe for elderly residents. The fear of falling again can lead to anxiety and loss of confidence in residents. This fear might cause them to limit their activities, leading to social isolation and a decline in physical health.
A resident who suffers an injury in a fall resulting from negligence may opt to take legal action. A compensation claim may help to cover the costs associated with their injuries, but it must be filed within time limits set by Michigan law, so taking action swiftly is important.