The legal obligation of nursing homes in Maryland is to provide a safe and comfortable environment for their residents. To meet this duty of care, nursing homes must take several precautions, including ensuring supervision for residents and that staff members receive proper training in fall prevention techniques.
Nursing home operators must also take steps to ensure reporting and documenting of any falls. Fall-related injuries can be severe and require prompt medical attention. By tracking falls and taking appropriate action when they occur, nursing homes can help reduce the number of injuries that lead to long-term disabilities.
What are fall-related injuries?
Nursing home falls and related injuries may include fractures, contusions, lacerations, and spinal cord injuries. Nursing home residents are at a higher risk for fall-related injuries because they often have dementia or other cognitive impairments that can lead to falls. Nursing homes must take measures to prevent falls and prepare residents for possible falls.
Falls can cause serious injuries
If a resident injures themselves during a fall, nursing home staff should immediately provide first aid and summon medical assistance. Suppose the resident is injured seriously enough to require hospitalization. In that case, the nursing home may be liable for any resulting injury or death.
Nursing home policies preventing falls
Nursing home staff should be aware of these risks and take appropriate measures to prevent fall-related injuries. These measures may include providing adequate supervision and assistance to elderly residents, enforcing safety rules, and warning them about potential hazards nearby.
Eldercare homes should have policies to address fall prevention, such as providing fall detection devices and training staff on how to use them. Staff should also receive training in the recognition and treatment of falls. In addition, residents should be encouraged to exercise regularly and participate in activities that promote balance and coordination, such as Tai Chi or walking programs.