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Key stats that show the danger of falls in nursing homes

You put your loved ones in nursing homes to make sure that they're safe and healthy, to make sure that they get the daily care and assistance they need. This is supposed to improve a person's quality of life. But are you really putting them in danger?

Some statistics regarding falls in nursing homes are rather jarring. For example, you may know that a mere 5 percent of those who are at least 65 years old have moved into these nursing homes. However, this small fraction of the population accounts for a staggering 20 percent of all deaths that are linked to falls. Clearly, this is a very high-risk group, and falls are more often deadly for the elderly, in nursing homes, than for other groups.

Thinking that it won't happen to your mother or father? Hopefully it won't, but the stats also show that at least half of all nursing home residents fall each year. Some statistics suggest the true number could be as high as 75 percent. Many falls aren't deadly, but the risk is there if the majority of residents fall every year.

Overall, the fall risk is simply very high for this age group. Some reports show that the average rate is 2.6 falls for every elderly person, per year.

Falls can be avoided, and it's important that the nursing home staff works hard to do so. If they are negligent, not providing the care that they're being paid to provide, you and/or your loved one may be able to seek compensation for a fall that leads to serious injury or even death.

Source: Managed Healthcare Connect, "Strategies for Reducing Falls in Long-Term Care," Betty Willy, Christine M. Osterberg, accessed Dec. 08, 2016

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