Louisville, KY Lawyer for Broken Bones and other Injuries from Nursing Home Falls
Falling presents a serious risk for elderly individuals living in nursing homes. Statistics show that the elderly have the greatest risk of serious and fatal injuries from falls, and seniors living in nursing homes are twice as likely as those living in the community to suffer fall-related injuries. This means that hundreds of thousands of individuals age 65 and older are falling each year while under nursing home care.
Why is the risk of falling in nursing homes so high? Part of the reason likely has to do with the fact that individuals who live in nursing homes are often in worse physical condition than those who are able to continue living in the community. Dementia, memory loss, and other cognitive issues that are common among the nursing home population are linked to an increased risk of falling as well. However, undoubtedly, nursing home negligence and abuse also play a major role. These are widespread problems in nursing homes in Kentucky and throughout the country: An astounding 95 percent of nursing home residents report that they have either suffered or witnessed neglect or abuse. This negligence and abuse often leads to falls.
Preventable Falls: The Size of the Problem
If you or a loved one is living in a nursing home, you expect the home to provide quality care and a safe living environment free from unnecessary risks. These are reasonable expectations, and Kentucky law entitles you to them. All nursing homes owe a duty to provide professional care to their residents, and nursing home facilities need to be maintained in safe condition. Nonetheless, inattentive care, negligent care, inadequate cleaning and maintenance, and the use of unsafe equipment are all common factors in nursing home falls.
These factors lead to countless avoidable falls. Consider these statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- While only about five percent of the 65-and-older population lives in nursing homes, 20 percent of fatal falls among senior citizens occur under nursing home care.
- On average, a nursing home with 100 beds will report 100 to 200 falls each year. However, reported falls are just a small portion of the actual total number.
- On average, nursing home residents fall two to three times every year.
- Ten to 20 percent of nursing home falls cause serious injuries. Between two and six percent result in broken bones.
- An estimated 1,800 nursing home residents die from fall-related injuries every year.
Unfortunately, the situation may get worse before it gets better. While many nursing homes are already grossly understaffed, the CDC estimates that the size of the nursing home population will double over the next 15 years.
Common Causes of Preventable Nursing Home Falls
There are many different ways that nursing home negligence and abuse can lead to falls. From failure to provide necessary equipment – such as handrails, walkers, and wheelchairs – to intentionally pushing or shoving a resident, nursing home staff members often make dangerous mistakes. Some common causes of serious and fatal falls in nursing homes include:
- Wet and slippery floors
- Poor lighting
- Lack of bed rails and handrails
- Lack of access to walkers, wheelchairs, and other assistive medical equipment
- Tripping hazards (such as frayed carpet and loose objects on the floor in common areas, hallways, and private rooms)
- Inadequate supervision of medicated residents
- Inadequate supervision of residents who are known fall risks
- Poorly-trained staff
- Staff members’ failure to respond to requests for assistance
- Muscle weakness, pain, dizziness, and fatigue resulting from malnutrition, dehydration, or poor medical care
In addition, wandering and elopement (leaving a nursing home facility unsupervised) are common problems in poorly managed and understaffed nursing homes. Nursing homes owe a duty to ensure that residents do not wander or elope, as residents who wander or leave their facilities are at an even higher risk for suffering serious injuries in a fall.
Contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC about Your Kentucky Nursing Home Fall
Following a fall in a nursing home, it is important to seek both medical and legal help right away. At Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, we can make sure that you do everything necessary to protect yourself and your loved ones. Falls can have devastating consequences, and taking legal action is important for making sure that you have the money you need to cover your medical bills and other losses. To learn more about how we can help, please call (800) 991-0474 or request a *free consultation online today.
*Each case is different and the past record is no assurance that we will be successful in reaching a favorable result in any future case. Among many settlements, Gladstein Law Firm has recovered: $1.8 Million settlement for medical malpractice case involving negligent performance of hysterectomy (Christian Circuit Court); $1.75 Million medical malpractice case involving negligent failure to timely diagnose and treat lung cancer (Jefferson Circuit Court); $550,000 settlement for failure to diagnose prostate cancer (pre-litigation settlement); $500,000 settlement for negligent failure to diagnose and treat an impending stroke after brain surgery (Jefferson Circuit Court); and $195,000 settlement for negligent failure to diagnose and treat a potentially life-threatening heart condition (Macon Co., N.C.; served as co-counsel) Click here to see some of Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC’s successes. Client pays costs only upon recovery.