Falls are very common in Maryland nursing homes, unfortunately. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, roughly half of all nursing home residents take at least one fall every year. Approximately one-third of the patients that fall will experience multiple falls in the same year.
Falling is serious for frail patients
Elderly people who live in nursing homes often have weak muscles and bones and thin skin. Falling can cause serious injuries and permanently alter mobility. Often, the pain from falling is so traumatic that nursing home residents who have fallen will start limiting their activities due to a fear of falling again.
The AHRQ says that 10% of nursing home residents that fall suffer from a serious injury as a result. Hip fractures are a common injury from falls that affect 65,000 nursing home patients every year.
Falling is an avoidable accident
Staff should closely monitor nursing home residents that are at risk of falling. Often, nursing home falls occur when patients are left alone for too long without being checked on. A neglected nursing home patient may get up to try to take care of something themselves that staff should have helped them with.
Increased risk of falling can also be caused by medical conditions or side effects from medications. Sometimes, a patient’s balance and coordination is negatively impacted by a medical problem that they have. If nursing home patients are not provided with sufficient exercise opportunities, their body could lose muscle and make falls more likely.
Liability for nursing home falls
Nursing homes can be liable for patient falls if staff was negligent. Since nursing home residents require constant monitoring, falls are almost always the result of some type of negligence. Families of injured nursing home patients may sue the nursing home where their loved one fell.