What Constitutes a Fall in a Nursing Home?

What Constitutes a Fall in a Nursing Home?

Falls involving nursing home residents can result in catastrophic injuries. Accidents can happen in nursing homes anywhere, but some falls might be the result of nursing home neglect or abuse. Family members must understand what constitutes a fall in a nursing home and watch for potential red flags. Nursing home staff members are required to know who is at risk for falling and eliminate fall hazards. If you suspect a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, please call the experienced attorneys at Senior Justice Law Firm for assistance.

What Is the Definition of a Fall in a Nursing Home?

What is considered a fall in a nursing home is necessarily broad. At a basic level, a fall is an unintentional change in position from a higher to a lower level, such as a resident falling out of bed or from a chair. It can also include slipping or tripping while walking or moving around the facility. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says a “fall” refers to:

Unintentionally coming to rest on the ground, floor, or other lower level, but not as a result of an overwhelming external force (e.g., resident pushes another resident). An episode where a resident lost his/her balance and would have fallen, if not for staff intervention, is considered a fall. A fall without injury is still a fall. Unless there is evidence suggesting otherwise, when a resident is found on the floor, a fall is considered to have occurred.

Nursing Home Falls Require Investigation

Regardless of whether the resident fell over their own feet, was pushed by another resident, or was dropped by staff, all nursing home falls resulting in injury warrant an investigation.

If your family member suffered a broken bone, head injury, or hospitalization after a nursing home fall, contact Senior Justice Law Firm for your free consultation today: (888) 375-9998.

Injury Risk from Falls

Older people are at a higher risk of severe injuries from a fall. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), millions of older people suffer falls yearly. Around three million of these individuals require emergency room treatment for fall-related injuries. Hip fractures and brain injuries are two of the more serious injuries that can occur. In fact, the CDC estimates around 300,000 older people require hospitalization for hip fractures.

Risk factors for falls in nursing homes include age, mobility issues, and certain medical conditions. Nursing homes are oven understaffed, resulting in nursing home neglect. A fall-risk patient might try getting out of bed unassisted because no one comes to help them to the bathroom.  

Preventing Falls in Nursing Homes

Nursing homes should conduct assessments of each resident’s fall risk and implement fall prevention strategies accordingly. These may include installing grab bars and handrails, aiding mobility, and ensuring the facility is well-lit and free of hazards. It is also important for nursing home staff to receive training in fall prevention and response. They should know how to properly assist residents who have fallen, as well as how to identify and report potential hazards.

In the event of a fall, nursing home staff should immediately assess the resident for injuries and provide appropriate medical care as needed. They should also document the fall, including the resident’s condition, the cause of the fall, and any interventions taken.

Contact a Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyer

If you have questions about what constitutes a fall in a nursing home, please get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer at Senior Justice Law Firm. We can help you determine whether nursing home neglect or abuse might have played a part in your family member’s fall and subsequent injuries. Our focus is solely on elder abuse and neglect. We know what to look for and how to help family members pursue a nursing home neglect or abuse claim. Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation.

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