Nursing homes in Nevada and across the country are responsible for ensuring that their residents have a safe living environment. In general, nursing home residents are at higher risk for falling because of their age and feeble physical condition, a fact known by a wrongful death attorney in Reno. Some residents may suffer from debilitating health conditions that could make it difficult to walk. Facilities that are properly equipped with the right safety equipment and have ample staff on hand to monitor and assist residents may have a lower rate of fall accidents.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,800 people residing in nursing homes die from injuries related to falls each year. This represents more than 20 percent of fall fatalities for adults 65 years of age and older, even though only 5 percent of this population resides in nursing homes.
A typical sized nursing home facility reports up to 200 falls each year. Residents who survive a devastating fall may have to live with pain and a decreased quality of life because of the injuries they have sustained from the accident. Some nursing homes fail to report falls that occur in the facilities, making it hard to get accurate statistics.
Reasons for nursing home falls
While some people may be able to detect and bypass nursing home hazards, a wrongful death attorney in Reno knows that elderly residents may have a hard time seeing and avoiding dangerous situations. Why are nursing home residents more likely to fall than a person living in the community? The CDC reported the following hazards that may contribute to a fall accident in a nursing home setting:
- Poorly lit rooms and hallways
- Wet and slippery floors
- Poorly maintained equipment, including wheelchairs and walkers
- Beds and chairs that are too high, making it hard for residents to transfer from one piece of furniture to another
- Muscle weakness and unsure footing
Nursing home residents that take medication on a daily basis may experience side effects, including dizziness, confusion and muscle weakness. These residents may be more inclined to fall, depending on the type of medication they are taking. Nursing home staff should keep a close eye on patients who are taking these medications.
Nursing home fall victims may suffer from broken or fractured bones, bruises, back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, nerve damage and other debilitating conditions. Families of fall victims that have succumbed to their injuries may want to seek legal counsel from a wrongful death attorney in Reno.