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Majority of nursing home falls due to environmental factors

Did you know that falls cause over 95% of hip fractures and are responsible for a large number of traumatic brain injuries? Residents of Towson and other nearby areas in Maryland might want to learn more about what research shows in regard to nursing homes and falls.

Poor lighting and more

According to the National Conference of State Legislators, in community settings, certain factors contribute to the falls that occur. Some studies estimate that 30% to 50% of falls for older adults in community settings are due to environmental factors. These include poor lighting and uneven surfaces.

Important features

There are certain modifications that should be in place in a nursing home. These can also be part of the home setting. Nursing home injuries that occur due to falls may receive a reduction when some of the following modifications are in place:

  • Ramps and grab-bars
  • Home control units
  • Adaptive switches for lighting
  • Bathroom modifications
  • Wider doorways

Medication management

Better management of medication may help prevent falls among older adults, including those who are in nursing homes. Medication may be responsible for balance issues that lead to falls and subsequent injuries.

Some states require training in fall prevention

Minnesota requires unlicensed personnel in assisted living facilities to complete fall prevention training. Washington state requires long-term care workers to complete core competency training; this includes fall prevention training.

It is important for state legislators and others to consider these environmental factors when writing legislation that promotes safety, especially in nursing homes. Older adults should not have to navigate around poor lighting and uneven surfaces in a setting that is supposed to be beneficial to their well-being.