When you helped your mother move into a nursing home, you already knew that she was unstable on her feet. That’s why you chose a nursing home that had many fall-prevention tools in place.
On the bed, there was a padded alarm system that would alert the nurses if your mother was trying to get up. On the wall, there’s a call button that she can reach for to ask for help when she needs to get from one place to another. You also made sure the facility had handrails and bars anywhere she’d need to travel, so she could help balance herself.
Despite your best efforts, you’ve received more than one call letting you know that she had fallen. With the most recent, she hit her head and has serious injuries as a result. What can you do? Is the nursing home being negligent?
Nursing home falls are devastating
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every five falls leads to serious injuries such as head injuries or broken bones. Around 95% of all hip fractures are linked to falls, with most happening from sideways falls, like those that might be suffered when moving off-balance or getting out of bed.
If your loved one has suffered injuries because of falls in a nursing home, the nursing home could be to blame. However, not all falls are a direct result of the staff or the tools used to prevent injuries.
If your parent is a fall risk, then the staff should take steps to prevent falls. For example, putting up the railings on a bed to prevent the elder from getting out of bed on their own is one option. Placing a call button close to them to ask for help is wise as well.
Unfortunately, there are times when nursing homes aren’t as helpful as they should be. The staff might ignore your parent calling for them or may not leave a walker or support close enough to the bed for them to get up on their own safely.
If falls begin to happen regularly, something isn’t right. At that point, it is important to look into taking legal action for nursing home neglect or abuse.