Falling is dangerous for anyone; however, for an elderly person who may be more frail than most, it can be devastating.
As people age, their bones become weaker and break more easily. This is especially true if the person in question suffers from osteoporosis.
Elderly people who live in nursing homes are particularly susceptible because they, by and large, have more difficulty moving and/or taking care of themselves than other people their age.
What Can Happen if an Elderly Person Falls?
At the basis of all the problems that occur after a fall are broken bones. Aside from the obvious pain of such an injury, these types of injuries can result in a variety of mobility issues.
For example, an older person who uses a walker may not be able to get around with a broken arm. Similarly, a nursing home patient who breaks a hip may be bedridden for weeks if not months. These patients may also run the risk of bedsores and other problems such as feelings of helplessness and depression.
What are the Numbers Associated with Nursing Home Slip and Falls?
Simply put, the numbers are as disheartening as they are unbelievable.
One in five elderly people who die from falls live in nursing homes, which equates to roughly 1,800 deaths per year. Facility residents are falling 2.6 times per year per resident. Three in four will fall and suffer debilitating injuries even if they do not die.
What Can Be Done About It?
The answer is prevention, which is much easier than it sounds. Staff needs to be specially trained in preventing slips and falls. The facilities can do things like lower bed heights, lower toilets, install handrails and give residents hip pads to protect them during a fall.
If you or a loved one has fallen in a nursing home, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help.
Abrahamson & Uiterwyk is dedicated to protecting the rights of clients who may or may not know their legal rights and options. Call us today for a free, initial consultation at (941)-677-2853
today and learn how we may be able to protect your loved one’s rights.