Preventing Falls In The Elderly

Elderly and FallsOne of the largest concerns for the elderly is preventing falls. They are the largest cause of injury death for people 65 years and older, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  In 2008, 19,700 older adults died from fall injuries and in 2009, 2.2 million fall injuries were treated at emergency rooms across the country.

Causes Of Falls

Falls occur more often with the elderly for various reasons, most of them linked to

deteriorating health issues including:

  • Certain health conditions
  • Loss of mobility and balance
  • Vision issues
  • Drug side effects
  • Circulation problems, including numbness in their feet

Not are elderly more likely to fall, they are at risk for traumatic brain injury (TBI) when they do. Falls accounted for an estimated 50% of TBI deaths in the 65 and older patients that were in a CDC study in 2005. The study also pointed out that those 65 and older have over a 30% chance of falling, 1 out of 3.

Preventing Falls At Nursing Homes

Falls are common for nursing home patients. Even though the risk is greater, many falls at nursing homes are found to be due to negligence on the part of the facility as they responsible for protecting patients from falls and other injuries. There are measures that can be taken to reduce falls.

  • Get regular exercise. Keep strength and mobility is important in the elderly. Nursing homes should make sure their patients are keeping as active as possible.
  • Medication awareness. Some medications can cause dizziness or drowsiness. Patients on these medications may need extra help to prevent them from falling.
  • Vision issues. Vision needs to be monitored and checked once a year to make sure they have adequate eye wear to see properly.
  • Reduce hazards. Keeping areas well lit and accessable is important to avoiding tripping and falling over unseen items.

Allowing a patient to walk in areas that are dim or cluttered, or without supervision when they have a high risk for falling, can be a sign of poor care on the part of the nursing home.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
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After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric