Many patients of Nursing Homes have a high risk for falling. Patients may have a history of falls, or present as a fall risk due to their difficulty with mobility, recent surgery, mental status impairment, prescribed medications such as sedatives, or simply their use of an assisted mobility device. Whatever the reason may be, a Nursing Home patient identified as a fall risk can suffer significant injuries if they are not monitored correctly.
Nursing Homes typically have procedures and protocols to follow in order to assess incoming and current patients for fall risks. These standards are often mandated by Federal and State law. Upon admission, the clinical conditions of patients should be checked to review their history of falls, cognitive status, vision status, mobility, balance, age, and other risk factors. Nursing Home policies and procedures extend to the continued monitoring, transfer, and assistance of those high-risk patients throughout their stay in the home.
The Nursing Home should focus on coordinating staff efforts to reduce the danger of falls for those patients assessed with high risk. Further, it is important for Nursing Homes to have adequate equipment, such as beds and chairs with alarms. These tools help alert staff if a high-risk fall patient is attempting to exit a bed or chair so staff can respond immediately. If a high-risk patient is unattended to, they could fall and be seriously injured. Many unattended falls within the nursing homes are caused by understaffing, inadequate training to the staff, and negligent behavior by the nursing home employees.
Although some falls are unavoidable, there are certainly instances where the fall could have been prevented had the nursing home staff acted reasonably. A patient with a high fall risk can fall at any time, even while performing simple everyday tasks such as brushing their hair. It is extremely important that Nursing Home staff pay particular attention to their patients with high fall risks and monitor their activity so they are not alone at vulnerable times. The staff should be trained and understand their patients and the risk presented if they leave a high-risk patient unaccompanied.
If you or your loved one have been injured or died after a fall while a patient of a nursing home, the attorneys at Tetzel Law may be able to help you.
At Tetzel Law, LLC, our attorneys are experienced in nursing home abuse cases and handle nursing home fall cases that involve serious injuries and death. Please call us today for a free consultation. We have offices in Boston and Worcester and will set up a consultation free of charge. Reach us today by contacting us through our online form, or at (617) 933-3858.