When older people sustain injuries, it takes much longer for them to heal than it does for younger adults. That said, San Francisco elder abuse lawyers have found that minor accidents like tripping, slipping or falling down can be extremely dangerous for older adults, and preventative measures to ensure these accidents do not happen need to be in place in all nursing homes.
Because many older people do not have the ability to live on their own, loved ones and family members may choose to place them in the care of a nursing home. There, staff and medical responders are on-site 24 hours a day and there is always someone around to assist or watch over older residents who may be unsteady on their feet and need assistance in getting around. Falls, and the injuries that go along with them, pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of older Americans, especially those in nursing homes or care facilities.
Falls in a Nursing Home
Slip and fall accidents can happen for a number of reasons:
- Bad lighting in hallways and bedrooms
- Wet floors
- Slippery or icy conditions outside or in front hallways
- Lack of bedrails, hand holds, or beds that are too high
- Mess, clutter, or other hazards in main hallways, dining and common areas, and resident rooms
- Medication that may blur or compromise one’s vision, depth perception or awareness
- Lack of adequate supervision or trained staff presence
- Understaffing that causes difficulty in moving patients from room to room, to the restroom, etc.
- Non-working equipment like call buttons or intercom systems
- Ill-fitting shoes or slippers
- Dehydration or malnutrition that leads to dizziness, weakness, or other health complications
While accidents do happen, there are several preventable mistakes on the list that create risky situations. Preventing accidents while creating safe, nurturing environments is one of the top responsibilities for nursing home administrators, and failing to do so could result in serious injury or even death for residents.
Failing to provide a safe, reasonably hazard-free environment for residents is a form of abuse, and the standards of cleanliness, professionalism and duty of care are clearly defined in the state’s laws. Nursing home staff should be on guard against dangers to those in their care, especially dangers that could be easily eliminated. If a staff member is aware of a potentially dangerous situation, and an accident does happen, the onus is on the staff and the administration. The home could be held liable for their negligence and any injuries that result after a fall.
At the Evans Law Firm, Inc., our elder abuse lawyers represent clients who have been injured as a result of abuse in a nursing home. To discuss your case, and to protect the safety and health of your loved ones, contact us at 415.441.8669 or www.evanslaw.com for a consultation today.