What Are the Major Causes of Slip And Fall Accidents in a Nursing Home?
Slip and fall accidents are a major causative factor for nursing home injuries, hospitalization, and death in the elderly segments of the population. Thousands of slip and fall incidents occur at nursing homes in the United States each year, contributing significantly to elderly morbidity and mortality. While these accidents and subsequent injuries are dangerous for all age groups, they are significantly more morbid in the elderly segment of the population. The older age of nursing home residents puts them at a greater risk of fatal injuries and delayed recovery even if the injuries prove not to be fatal.
Nursing home slip and fall accidents can result in a dramatic decrease in the quality of life of their victims. People who get involved in such unfortunate incidents might suffer lasting injuries, prolonged physical disability, possible permanent incapacitation, depression, and more. If your loved one at a nursing home got involved in such an incident, they might be entitled to compensation for their damages, whether physical, financial, emotional, incidental or otherwise as provided by the experienced slip and fall attorney at Salamati Law.
Major Causes of Nursing Home Slips and Falls
Some of the major causes of slip and fall accidents occurring at nursing homes include:
Poor Safety Measures
Nursing homes are for the elderly and incapacitated segments of the population. Most individuals at a nursing home require a proper safety infrastructure to ensure safe travel from one spot to the other. For instance, a lack of guide rails or wheelchair ramps count as poor safety measures on the part of the nursing home administration and put the population at risk of possibly fatal slip and fall injuries.
Active Safety Hazards
Active safety hazards are another common cause of nursing home slip and fall accidents. These include hazards like wet or slippery floors, poor lighting conditions, improperly maintained flooring, improper wheelchairs, the unsafe height of nursing home beds, and more. All these hazards can be minimized with proper care and safety inspections, saving hundreds of nursing home residents from the risk of serious physical harm.
Walking problems are a leading cause of slips and falls involving the elderly at nursing homes. Most nursing home residents suffer from issues pertaining to ambulation, including gait abnormalities, muscular weakness or paralysis, and more. These problems make normal walking difficult for nursing home residents and result in nearly twenty-five percent of all nursing home slip and fall accidents.
Nursing homes are designed to be safe for the elderly and incapacitated population. As such, there should be no active environmental dangers like oddly placed safety equipment, cluttered hallways, cramped walkways, etc. These dangers predispose to nursing home residents slipping and falling, incurring serious physical injury in the process.
Improper Nursing Care
Improper care offered by the nursing staff and paramedical professionals is another major factor behind these accidents at nursing homes. If an individual requires manual help from a nurse to move from one place to the other, unassisted ambulation can significantly increase the risk of slipping and falling. Similarly, a lack of safety equipment that assists in walking can also increase the risk of slips and falls, for instance, ill-fitting wheelchairs, absent or improper canes or walking sticks, etc.
Nursing home residents, especially the elderly are at an increased risk of slip and fall accidents and injury due to their medication, including medicines like anti-depressants, sedatives and hypnotics, and other drugs that inhibit the CNS (Central Nervous System) and decrease cognitive awareness of one’s surroundings. Since most of these drugs are long-acting, most accidents tend to happen in less than 72 hours of taking a dose of the said medications.
These types of accidents in the elderly can prove deadly due to the higher risk of lasting physical and mental effects of such accidents and resulting injuries. If you or your loved one got involved in a slip and fall accident in a nursing home, you might be entitled to financial compensation for your damages if the accident is proven to be the fault of the nursing home staff or administration.
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