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Injuries at Nursing Homes Lead to Calls for Renewed Safety Focus

senior woman aged 90 lying on the floor after fall accident with walker. young caretaker giving a helping hand.

An Alabama lawyer discusses the problem

Falls happen a lot in nursing home facilities. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), among the 1.6 million residents in U.S. nursing home facilities, about half fall annually. Approximately 1 in 3 of those who fall will fall two or more times in a year. These falls can happen for a multitude of reasons stemming from nursing home abuse to the effects of aging and chronic disease.

In an article published by McKnights Long-Term Care News, new data shows an increase in nursing home accidents during the pandemic. Many safety precautions needed for the well-being of residents have declined since the start of the pandemic.

More falls and more injuries

According to Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN), 10 to 20 percent of nursing home falls cause extremely serious injuries. Such injuries could lead to loss of function and disability. There can be negative outcomes without a fall even occurring. Loss of function, social isolation, and depression can result just due to the fear of falling.

Researchers found nursing facilities saw an increase of injuries by 17.5 percent. And 2 to 6 percent of falls result in fractures. Those who are 65 years of age and older are four times more likely to die of fall-related injuries if they live in a nursing facility compared to those that live at home.

Nursing home residents typically are in advanced age and poor health, resulting in them being more prone to falling and other accidents. Data shows pressure ulcer rates in nursing facilities saw an increase of 41.8 percent.

Disregard for patient safety

Officials say there is an increased strain on the entire healthcare system that's causing disruption and disorder with regard to patient safety, even though safety should be a top priority. The introduction of different COVID-19 variants added to this stress, but facilities are working together to collect data on safety to further enhance it for residents.

ISHN reports that nursing home residents should always be given the proper shoes and appropriate walking aids. The correct equipment can help prevent falls from happening.

Staff members for nursing facilities need to be aware of any environmental hazards and remove them if they exist. Some of these hazards include things like poor lighting, slippery floors, broken equipment, debris in walkways, improper signage which can all be causes of falls. Incorrect bed height and broken beds also account for 30 percent of nursing home falls nationwide.

How can a nursing home abuse lawyer help?

Many nursing home abuse claims can turn into very complicated legal cases. Often, a negligent nursing home facility will deny any wrongdoing and refuse to accept responsibility for what happened. That's why it's in your interest to talk to a nursing home abuse attorney about your legal rights and options.

The legal team at Braswell Murphy, LLC has years of experience investigating allegations of nursing home abuse and neglect. We are committed to helping people in Mobile, Alabama obtain the justice and financial compensation they rightfully deserve. Discover what we can do for you and your loved one. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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