Chicago nursing home lawyers at Abels & Annes understand the risks associated with fall accidents in nursing homes.
A fall accident always has the potential to be serious, even when the victim is a child or healthy adult. About 50 percent of those who die each year in fall accidents are killed by a traumatic brain injury. Broken bones and joints are also common.
But when the victim is an elderly adult in a nursing home, injuries often result in a permanent reduction in quality of life, increased issues with mobility, emotional issues associated with the fear of falling, and premature death.
Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys know that many fall accidents can be prevented with proper staffing and equipment, by ensuring residents keep as active as possible, and by periodic review of medications for complications and side effects. The truth of the matter is that we put older loved ones in nursing homes because of the professional care available — and we do it in an effort to prevent just such an accident from occurring.
Unfortunately, reports continue to show that nursing home falls are an epidemic. Recently, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reported 1 in 5 newly admitted nursing home residents will suffer a fall accident during their stay.
The study from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles looked at 230,730 residents who entered nursing homes in 2006 for the first time. Nearly 50,000 suffered at least one nursing home fall accident during the reporting period.
“A fall can delay or permanently prevent the patient from returning to the community, said Natalie E. Leland, Ph. D., in a statement accompanying the study’s release. “Identifying risk of falling is essential for implementing fall prevention strategies and facilitating successful discharge back to the community.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 20,000 older adults die in fall accidents each year — a number that has increased steadily for years. Another 2.2 million are seen in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. Nationwide, one-third of adults over the age of 65 fall each year. That makes fall accidents the leading cause of accidental death among older adults.
Common Causes of Nursing Home Fall Accidents in Chicago
-Lack of Supervision -Lack of proper equipment, including poor bed-height -Missing or inadequate handrails/assist devices -Inactivity of patient -Side-effects/complications of medication -Poor footwear -Wet floors/obstacles -Poor hydration or nutrition
In some cases, fall accidents may go unreported or untreated, which can also lead to medical complications, including reduced function and quality of life. While it’s true those in nursing homes may be frailer and more prone to fall accidents, they deserve the professional care and supervision for which they are paying. And that alone is frequently enough to prevent an accident from occurring.
If you suspect elder abuse or neglect is occurring in an Illinois nursing home or assisted-living facility, contact Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 855-LAW-CHICAGO. There is no fee unless you win.