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Falls kill about 1,800 U.S. nursing home residents annually

| Jul 26, 2019 | premises liability

When a parent or other older loved one reaches a point where he or she can no longer easily manage his or her day-to-day affairs, you may make the difficult decision to place this person in a Rhode Island nursing home. In doing so, you probably want to believe that your loved one will receive a high quality of care that exceeds what you, personally, could provide, but regrettably, this is not always the case.

At D’Alessandro & Wright, LLC, we know that older adults are more likely to fall when they live in nursing homes than they are when they live at home or with family members, and we have helped many people whose loved ones suffered injuries due to nursing home falls pursue appropriate recourse.

According to Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, about 1,800 American nursing home residents die annually in the United States due to fall-related injuries, with falls being the single biggest cause of potentially preventable emergency room visits among seniors. Why is it that nursing homes, which are supposed to be safe places to age, are such hotbeds for serious falls?

Often, the problem is due to negligence on behalf of facility staff members or physicians. Older Americans are inherently more susceptible to falling because of environmental factors, such as wet floors or icy sidewalks, than younger Americans, so nursing home workers have a duty to maintain especially safe environments.

Nursing home residents who have mobility issues, but who do not get the help they need when they need it, also face a heightened risk of falling. Unfortunately, many U.S. nursing homes suffer from chronic understaffing issues, so many immobile residents simply do not have the mobility assistance they need available to them when they need it, leading to falls. You can find more about premises liability on our webpage.