Though nursing homes are supposed to provide residents with specialized care to protect their health and wellbeing, there are often hazards present that are more likely to endanger residents than help them. This can lead to slips and falls that seriously injure patients and necessitate emergency medical treatment. What exactly leads to this point, though, and makes falls so common in assisted living?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is twice as likely for nursing home residents to experience a fall than it is for elderly individuals living at home. Consider the following three reasons why falls might be so common. If your loved one has been injured in such an incident, consider seeking a legal representative.
Liquid on floors
A wet floor is the most common cause of slips and falls in any kind of environment. When the floor is slick and there is no warning sign to alert residents, they can easily be susceptible to falling because of this hazard. It is the responsibility of staff to prevent such accidents and ensure that such hazards are not left unaddressed in the facility.
Negligence by staff
It is, unfortunately, true that staff in nursing homes sometimes fail to meet residents' needs. If a patient needs assistance with bathing and is left to do so without help, for example, it is far more likely that he or she will fall. Nursing home staff should assist residents with any tasks that they cannot perform independently. Failure to do so greatly increases the chances of falls and injuries.
Sometimes, a patient's own physical condition contributes to a fall. If a resident suffers from severe vertigo, for example, she or he is far more likely to fall than a patient who does not. Medications are also a common culprit in such incidents. Anti-anxiety medications and sedatives are known to sometimes make falls more likely, especially in the period of time when a patient is adjusting to the new prescription.