When people get older, their joints degrade and their strength decreases. At the same time, changes in their spine and shoulders can shift their center of gravity.
Older adults are often at much higher risk for falling than younger people. When they fall, older adults also have a higher risk of suffering serious injuries. Falling at home is often the event that results in an older adult going to a nursing home.
Family members want to protect their loved ones by ensuring there is someone there to keep them from falling. Unfortunately, people do still fall and get hurt in nursing homes. How common are nursing home falls?
Many nursing homes do not do enough to protect their residents
According to national data, approximately 50% of older adults living in a nursing home will fall in any given year. One in three nursing home residents will suffer multiple falls in a single year.
People working in nursing homes can help prevent falls by assisting residents when they get dressed, go to the bathroom or move from their room to communal spaces. Unfortunately, nursing homes often don’t have enough staff for the needs of all of their residents. That can mean people don’t get timely support and are at unnecessary risk for a fall.
Asking for an incident report regarding the fall and staffing records from the day that it occurred can help give you a good idea of what circumstances were at the time your loved one fell. If understaffing or even intentional neglect by staff members tired of helping your loved one played a role in the fall, you may have grounds to bring a legal claim against the facility on behalf of your injured loved one.