Slip and Fall Injuries in Nursing Homes

Personal Injury Lawyer

It can be difficult for family members to entrust the wellbeing of their senior loved one into the hands of staff at a nursing home facility. Family members may be understandably protective of their loved one, and may worry about their health often. It can be devastating to receive a phone call from the nursing home that your senior relative had taken a tumble and seriously hurt themselves.

Healing From a Slip and Fall Incident

For seniors, it can be challenging to overcome physical injuries that resulted from a slip and fall, such as broken bones, head injuries, and soft tissue wounds. Even if they abide by doctor’s orders and go through physical therapy and rehabilitation, they may still lose some degree of mobility compared to before the incident. Some patients may even need to undergo surgery in order to repair the damage. The recovery after surgery can be long and grueling. 

Are Falls Preventable?

Upon hearing the news that their senior loved one took a fall, family members may be concerned about abuse or mistreatment which led to the incident. While this is a possibility, there are other variables that could have contributed to the slip and fall event. Even the most attentive and dedicated team at a nursing home facility cannot be present a hundred percent of the time to prevent slip and falls from occurring. However, statistically, a significant number of falls happen in such facilities because of mistakes that the staff committed or due to flaws in the nursing home policies, and could be reason to speak with an elder care abuse lawyer.

Here are a few common reasons that a senior loved one may take a serious fall while living in a nursing home facility:

Medical Conditions

The senior resident’s health and any medical conditions can increase the likelihood that they will take a slip and fall. Those who are most vulnerable to a fall are people with cardiac arrhythmias, dizziness, balance problems, low/high blood pressure, and acute illnesses. 

Errors in Moving Patient

Transferring the patient from a bed to a walker, toilet chair, wheelchair, or standing can be dangerous if the staff member is not properly trained. A staff member may lack the physical strength needed to lift and move the patient safely, not have enough training or experience in using proper lifting techniques, or the nursing home is so understaffed that the resident tries to move themselves. 

Prescription Medication

There are several medications that can cause the senior resident to feel light-headed, dizzy, confused, and weak. And unfortunately, many nursing home facilities give their residents too much medication in an effort to make them more docile and easy to manage. Family members are encouraged to work with their loved one’s treating doctor and inquire about why certain medications are prescribed. 

In Summary

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere and to anyone, but senior residents who live in a nursing home may be more susceptible. Family members should visit their loved one often, stay attentive to their treatment plan, and ask questions when they see something isn’t quite right.