While many nursing home residents strugle with poor balance and can have weak leg muscles, falls causing fractures are not a normal or acceptable experience.
Fractures (broken bones) can be especially dangerous for older men and women because healing times are slower, elderly people with cognitive impairment are less likely to complete painful physical therapy and because extensive time in bed can result in further body weakness.
Generally speaking, nursing home residents slip and fall because they are not being closely monitored by an attendant. Other factors contributing to falls include:
- absence of secure hand rails in hallways
- absence of secure hand rails in showers and bathrooms
- poor lighting
- inadequate texture on the floor
- floors with obstacles like bunched carpet, misplaced floor mats or medical equipment
- wet floors
- heavy doors that a resident may impact a resident
- absence of direct supervision following consumption of medications
- chairs or beds at wrong height for a particular resident
- lack of access to assistive devices like canes or walkers
Elderly people, even those with cognitive decline, are instinctually concerned about the dangers of a fall. The law expects nursing home management to recognize that residents are inherently in danger when they move and that the nursing facility must provide facilities and personnel to mitigate this danger.
If your loved one has experienced a fractured bone due to a fall in a nursing home, we’d be happy to help you ask the right questions and look into pursuing a negligence claim for damages.