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Nursing Home Falls Pose Serious Health Risks

Suffering a serious fall is one of the most serious risks facing older adults, particularly those in California nursing homes. In fact, between half and three-quarters of nursing home residents fall each year, which is twice the rate of older adults living in the community.

Several other alarming statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include:

  • While only 5 percent of adults 65 and older live in nursing homes, nursing home residents account for about 20 percent of deaths from falls in this age group.
  • Each year, a typical nursing home with 100 beds reports 100 to 200 falls. Many falls go unreported.
  • Patients often fall more than once. The average is 2.6 falls per person per year.
  • An estimated 1,800 people living in nursing homes die from falls every year.
  • Approximately 10 to 20 percent of nursing home falls result in serious injuries, while 2 percent to 6 percent cause fractures.
  • Falls result in disability, functional decline and reduced quality of life. Fear of falling can cause further loss of function, depression, feelings of helplessness, and social isolation.

While accidents do happen, falls can also be a sign of nursing home neglect and other safety issues. In some cases, nursing homes fail to identify and address risk factors for falling and/or treat underlying medical conditions. In addition, dangerous conditions like wet floors, poor lighting, incorrect bed height, and improperly fitted or maintained wheelchairs can also lead to falls.

With this in mind, loved ones researching California nursing homes should always ask about fall rates and fall prevention strategies used by the facility. You can also look around to see if the nursing home is equipped with grab bars, raised toilet seats, handrails in the hallways, and other features that make it easier for residents to get around without falling.

If you or someone you love has suffered from nursing home neglect or abuse don’t hesitate to contacta San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.