Older adults often struggle with the tasks required for daily life. Declining physical ability as people age can make once-simple tasks, like walking to the bathroom to brush their teeth, both challenging and dangerous.
Those who have previously fallen may move into a nursing home so that they don’t end up with serious, possibly life-threatening injuries if they fall again. Others who are at high risk of a fall may end up living in a nursing home in part because their family members don’t want them to get hurt while living on their own.
Unfortunately, a significant number of falls that injure older adults in the United States each year actually occur in nursing homes, and those falls are often warning signs of poor care.
Residents should have the support they need in a paid facility
Living in a nursing home is a privilege that costs thousands of dollars a month even for a shared room. The people living in such spaces should not have to worry about having their basic needs go unmet. Nursing homes should have enough workers on staff to ensure that residents can have their medical care needs, as well as their daily living needs, met.
No one should have to wait an hour or longer to go to the bathroom or suffer a medical emergency that goes unnoticed for some time because staff members are too busy to check on them. However, falls in nursing homes are often the result of staff members not responding to the needs and requests of residents. Sometimes the people who fall still have to wait after the fall for staff members to come and take them for medical evaluation.
Understaffing at nursing homes is one of the main reasons that falls are such a pressing concern. The family members of those injured in poorly-managed, understaffed nursing homes may have grounds to bring a claim against the company that engaged in profit-driven staffing practices and provided a substandard level of care.
Financial claims are often the only way to prompt change at for-profit institutions and can also help compensate the person affected by negligence that lead to a preventable fall. Knowing when an older adult’s injury is a sign of neglect can help family members ensure someone gets the support they need for their comfort in their golden years.