Older adults, including nursing home and assisted-living facility residents in Riverside County, may be more likely to suffer serious fall injuries than younger people. Yet it is important to remember that falls are preventable, and nursing homes have a duty to take steps to ensure resident safety. If a fall does occur in a Riverside County nursing home or assisted-living facility, it is important to seek advice from a Riverside County nursing home negligence lawyer who can determine whether the facility may be liable. In the meantime, the following are five things you should know about falls and nursing homes.
1. Falls are Extremely Common But Preventable Among Older Adults
Falls occur much more frequently than you might think among older adults. Indeed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 36,000 fall-related deaths among adults aged 65 and up in 2020, which makes falls the “leading cause of injury death for that group.” Around 3 million older adults experience injuries in falls that require treatment in an emergency department, and approximately 800,000 require hospitalization. Among older adults, about 20% of all falls result in serious injury.
2. Nursing Homes Must Take Steps to Prevent Falls
Nursing homes have a duty to take steps to prevent falls. Failure to take fall prevention into account can result in resident injuries and nursing home liability.
3. Multiple Methods of Fall Prevention Exist
There are multiple preventive strategies for reducing falls in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, including but not limited to the following:
- Ensuring residents are up-to-date with doctors and medications;
- Providing assistance with strength and balancing exercises;
- Having sufficient staff to provide adequate care for residents who require mobility assistance; and
- Making a safety plan to make the facility safer, including installing grab bars, increasing lighting, removing tripping hazards, installing non-slip mats, and keeping necessities within reach.
4. Falls Have Serious Health Consequences for Seniors
Falls have serious health consequences and implications for older adults. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), in addition to the immediate injuries suffered in a fall, falls often have longer-term consequences such as a reduced quality of life, increased fear of falling again, a decrease in the ability to function, and an increase in the risk of death. In addition, having fallen in the past means that you are more likely to fall again and to have additional injuries. According to the CDC, “falling once doubles your chances of falling again.”
5. Nursing Homes and Assisted-Living Facilities Can Be Liable for Falls
When falls in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities result from the facility’s negligence, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against the facility to seek compensation. In most cases, California law requires a lawsuit to be filed within two years from the date of the fall-related injury.
Contact a Riverside County Nursing Home Neglect Attorney Today
If you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home or assisted-living facility who recently fell and broke a hip or another bone or suffered other harm, it may be possible to file a claim against the facility. Even when a nursing home or assisted living facility does not intend harm, failing to put resident safety first can mean that the facility may be liable for injuries that occur. One of the experienced Riverside County nursing home negligence lawyers at our firm can talk with you today about your case and your options. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information.
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