Although nursing homes in Orange County and throughout Southern California are largely focused on issues pertaining to COVID-19 infections and methods of preventing illness and death among residents and patients, it is important to remember that long-term care facilities still have other duties when it comes to resident safety. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities in California need to provide a certain level of care to patients in order to prevent injuries from happening solely as a result of inadequate care. Many injuries in nursing homes happen because a resident tried to get out of bed herself after being unable to reach a nurse, or a resident fell because a staff member was not providing proper observation.
To be clear, many injuries in nursing homes do not result from bad intentions, but rather from a lack of care often due to inadequate staffing. As many staff members call in sick with COVID-19 and staff members are swamped with coronavirus mitigation duties, more residents could be at risk of a fall-related injury. The following are five things to know about falls in nursing homes.
Adults Aged 65 and Older Fall More Often Than You Might Think
Older adults who are 65 and up fall much more often than you might think. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an older adult suffers a fall “every second of every day” in the U.S. on average, and about 25% of all adults aged 65 and older will fall in any given year.
Falls Often Lead to Deaths Among the Elderly
While falls may not always be serious for younger people, they are often a leading cause of death for older adults, according to the CDC.
Nursing Home Falls Often Occur Due to Inadequate Care
Many falls in nursing homes happen because a patient or resident was not provided with adequate care from a staff member. When facilities are understaffed and cannot provide proper care, a fall can result in a nursing home negligence lawsuit.
Fall Prevention is Possible in Nursing Homes
Nursing homes can take steps to prevent falls. No senior in a long-term care facility should suffer a serious or fatal injury because of a fall. In addition to monitoring residents who need assistance, facilities can install fall-prevention devices (like shower bars, non-slip carpeting) and can ensure that patients are regularly seen by doctors who can assess medical problems that could make a fall more likely.
Most Nursing Home Fall Lawsuits Have a Two-Year Statute of Limitations
If a fall does occur due to nursing home negligence, you will likely have two years from the date of the fall to file a negligence claim under California law.
Seek Advice from an Orange County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Falls can be devastating for anyone, but especially for seniors who can lose their mobility and freedom after what seems like a simple slip and fall accident. If an elderly loved one at a nursing home fell and got hurt, the facility could be liability for nursing home neglect. An experienced Orange County nursing home abuse attorney can help with your case. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about filing a claim.
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