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Nursing Home Falls – May 11, 2014

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 1800 nursing home residents die every year from fall related injuries.   Those that survive those falls often suffer the residual effects of hip fractures and head injuries as a result of the fall. While only about 5 percent of adults over 65 reside in nursing homes, fall-related deaths represent 20 percent of such deaths in this age group. Moreover, between half and two thirds of residents in nursing home facilities suffer falls each year. That percentage is twice the rate of falls in the same age group in the larger community.

Some of the most common causes of nursing home falls include environmental hazards within the nursing home. These hazards include such things as wet floors, poor lighting, incorrect bed height, and improperly fitted or maintained wheelchairs. These environmental causes represent between 16% and 27% of falls suffered by nursing home residents.  Sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs and other medications have also been found to be a factor, with a significant increase in incidences occurring in the three days following changes in these medications.   

Nursing home residents are often frailer than elderly people that live at home. However, there is little question that many of these falls could be prevented with better care.  If you or a loved one has suffered a debilitating fall in a nursing home due to what you believe to be negligent care, contact our office for a free evaluation of your legal remedies.  

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