When I first saw a recent news report about a Canadian nursing home patient that fell 45 times over a six-month period, I began to question my reading skills as the number seemed to be downright shocking! As it turns out, my eyes are indeed in good order as are the journalistic skills of the Canadian reporter who prepared the story.
Hidden camera footage captured the man, who is afflicted with Parkinson’s and Dementia, repeatedly falling at the nursing home where he was living. In addition to the alarming pattern of falls, the videotape confirming abusive behavior on the part of the nurses who were to be assisted him.
Rather than providing assistance for the man, video footage showed the nurse mocking the man as he lay on the floor.
Repeated falls remain one of the biggest problems facing well-bodied and disabled nursing home patients and are the source of many nursing home injuries. Certainly, when patients begin to experience a pattern of falls, both the nursing care and medical diagnoses need to be evaluated to determine what can be done to reduce the patient’s risk of falling.
Too often I see nursing homes minimize fall incidents and no investigation done with respect to evaluating how falls can be minimized in the future. Similarly, some nursing homes never relay fall information to the patient’s physician which protracts an in depth medical evaluation to see if a medication or medical complication may be responsible for the fall episodes.
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