Falls Remain Leading Cause of Injury-Related Deaths for Older Adults and Understaffed Nursing Homes Could Be to Blame

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among persons aged 65 years and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the age-adjusted rate of deaths from falls is increasing as well. Ironically, as many as 75 percent of nursing facility residents are reported falling each year and carry twice the chances of falling compared to a senior who lives in their own home or community.

For elderly patients living in care facilities, hazards that contribute to fall injuries can include:

  • stairs
  • bathtubs without handlebars
  • electrical cords, clutter
  • inappropriate lighting
  • loose rugs
  • wet floors
  • restraints
  • overmedication
  • bed rails
  • unkept wheelchairs and mobility tools
  • ties such as tubing or catheters
  • improper lifts and transfers from bed to chair, chair to toilet, chair to chair

This fall-related injury and death trend is on the watch of our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys as the aging population continues to grow in exponential rates and more individuals are becoming dependent on the care provided in nursing homes and assisted living services.

Falls Can Lead to Serious Complications, Even Death

Serious bone fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are common fall injuries that lead to a decline in a person’s health and ultimately contribute to 20 percent or about 1,800 nursing home resident deaths each year. Falls can be very serious for the elderly, especially those with underlying conditions such as arthritis, dementia, diabetes, and urinary incontinence. Residents who are prescribed antipsychotics, blood thinners, and anticonvulsant drugs also carry their own extra risk of falling. Because of these known factors, facilities, and staff should follow a care plan that includes fall prevention strategies, the most critical of which is consistent and attentive care.

Fall Injuries Can Occur More Often Due to Inadequate Staffing

No matter the costs, nursing homes must provide adequate care to residents and safety must always be considered. Unfortunately, we know all too well that a watchful eye and safety first policies are struggles for most of the country’s grossly understaffed and underfunded nursing homes. These ill-equipped care facilities, as many as 95 percent, put unnecessary pressures on employees that can lead to fall injuries and fall-related deaths because staff may not have the time or training to prevent deadly falls from happening.

When improper care is provided, and staffing is insufficient, it becomes too easy for an elderly person to become injured by a preventable fall at a care facility. Nursing home staff, administrators and owners could be responsible for negligent care.

Chicago’s Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys

We have become one of the most widely known and respected nursing home abuse and neglect law firms in Illinois, achieving multiple million-dollar verdicts and settlements for falls resulting from nursing home neglect. If a loved one has sustained serious injuries resulting from a fall at a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. There is a time limit to file a case in Illinois, so please contact us now for a free consultation with one of our skilled nursing home attorneys.

If you suspect any fall injury resulting from neglect or abuse at your loved one’s Illinois nursing home, contact the attorneys of Levin & Perconti now at 1-877-374-1417 or by completing our online case evaluation form for a free consultation.

Also read: CDC Says Falls, Particularly Among Elderly, the Reason Behind Record Number of Brain Injuries