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Bumps, Bruises and Scrapes Could Be Warning Signs of Elder Abuse or Neglect

The elderly fall with alarming regularity, due in part to their physical frailness, medical condition, and mental state.

According to the CDC, about 1,800 nursing home residents die each year from falls, and about 10% to 20% of all nursing home falls cause serious injuries such as fractures. Over a period of a year, nursing homes with 100 residents typically report 100-200 falls per year, and that does not take into account that many go unreported. The average rate of falls per nursing home resident is 2.6 per year! As such, it is one of the most common injury-causing accidents in nursing homes, and it almost always reduces the individual’s quality of life.

Nursing homes should have a fall prevention plan

Knowing the elderly are inherently prone to fall injuries, regulations require that nursing homes practice fall prevention. First, they are responsible for making sure the premises are in good repair and free of tripping hazards. Nearly a quarter of nursing home falls are caused by this type of negligence, such as equipment left in hallways or slippery floors. Second, they are responsible for taking extra measures, specified in their plans of care, to prevent falls among residents who may be more susceptible. This includes individuals who are on medications that cause drowsiness, those with foot, leg, or hip conditions (who often require a cane, walker or wheelchair) and those with weak muscles.

RGLZ has represented clients who were injured in nursing home falls that occurred due to the nursing home’s negligence. In some cases, the assistance specified in the preventative plans of care was not provided properly, or direct requests for assistance from the resident were ignored. In others, residents were given unnecessary or excessive medications that resulted in impaired balance. Some cases even involved the use of physical restraints, which have been proven to actually increase the risk of injury or death from a fall, rather than prevent them. All of these cases required our careful review of the nursing home records to see if a valid claim existed.

Has a loved one experienced a fall in a nursing home? Do you see unexplained bumps, bruises or scrapes that might indicate a fall could have caused them? If so, contact us for a FREE consultation.

Check our website regularly as we delve more into the individual warning signs of elder abuse over the next few weeks.