As people age, even simple falls while walking tend to cause more serious injuries. By the time people reach the age of 65, falls are common causes of broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and other serious and debilitating injuries.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of people over the age of 65 fall each year, up to about 1 out of 4 of all senior citizens.
Of those who fall, about 20% will experience a serious injury that will likely require hospitalization or ongoing care.
For example, each year, about 300,000 people over 65 have to undergo surgery or other treatment for a hip fracture. The vast majority of these injuries are due to falls.
Nursing homes have an obligation to prevent falls
Too often, these falls happen in nursing homes, that is, places where elderly people should expect to feel safe and well cared for.
Falls happen for a lot of reasons, and Maryland nursing homes can take steps to prevent falls by being proactive.
For example, nursing home staff must be aware of patients who have difficulties walking or holding balance and make sure that they have adequate assistance with getting to the bathroom or up to eat.
The staff must also be sure that there are no potential falling hazards on the premises, like slick floors, loose rugs or broken or unreliable guardrails.
Finally, some medications or combinations of medications can make a patient more prone to falling. The staff should be sure that a patient’s treatment plan is being properly managed.
When nursing homes fail and these basic duties, the loved ones of an injured patient may wish to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney in Baltimore County.