Florida Nursing Home Patient Fall Injury Lawyers Can Help
At Distasio Law Firm we understand that many vulnerable adults are residents in nursing homes because they need help moving from one place to another. They simply do not have the strength to do so on their own. Whether, they are bed bound, walk with a walker, or use a wheelchair, they rely on the nursing home staff for mobility. All nursing homes have safety policies in place to assist residents with mobility while at the same time protecting them from a slip and fall. When these safety rules are not followed residents can be severely injured. A nursing home neglect attorney can help figure out whether or not the fall was preventable and if so, make the facility take responsibility for what happened.
Types of Fall Prevention Assistance Offered by Nursing Homes
There are many reasons that a nursing home resident may need help moving or walking. Sometimes residents are recovering from surgery and only need help for a short period of time. Other times, residents suffer from muscle atrophy or weakness, Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia and as a result, need help all the time.
In order to determine what type of assistance is needed, the nursing home staff will assess the resident’s mobility and ability to walk. If the nursing assessment determines the resident is at risk of falling, the facility then creates a plan of care or care plan to address the resident’s needs and protect the resident from a slip and fall. The type of assistance outlined in the care plan will depend on the resident’s needs. Common types of assistance include:
- Visual Observation and Supervision
- One person assist for transfers and walking
- Two person assist for transfers and walking
- Physical therapy
- Occupational Therapy
Preventable Causes of Florida Nursing Home Falls
The fact that a nursing resident is unsteady on their feet does not mean a fall is inevitable. In fact, when nursing homes follow the resident care plan put in place to prevent falls, the number of falls are drastically reduced. Unfortunately many nursing are so understaffed they do not have the time to follow the residents fall prevention plan.
The overwhelming reason that preventable falls occur in nursing homes is under-staffing. When a nursing resident falls, the nursing home will often say there was nothing that could have been done to prevent the fall. They point to the residents unsteady But all too often,
Types Of Injuries Suffered by Residents That Fall
Nursing home residents are usually frail and suffer from brittle bones. In addition, they often do not have good mental judgment. When they fall, they do not have the strength to break the fall. All of these factors combined can lead to injuries that are catastrophic. The following are some of the injuries that most often occur:
- Fractured bones of the hip, leg, arm, and or wrist
- Facial and or Orbital fractures
- Subdural hematoma
- Brain injury or damage
According to the Centers for Disease control, half to three-quarters of all patients living in nursing homes fall every year. Out of those that fall, most fall multiple times. In fact, people fall in nursing homes at twice the rate as the same age group living in the community.
Reasons Nursing Home Residents Fall
Some falls are simply not preventable. Muscle weakness and gait problems cause most slip and falls. However, the fact that a nursing home resident suffers from these problems does not mean they are destined to fall. If the nursing home staff is vigilant in following their own safety rules, many falls and injuries can be prevented even in frail unsteady residents.
Most preventable falls occur because of under-staffing. The nursing home care givers simply do not have time to assist all the residents they are assigned. As a result call bells go unanswered and residents get left in bed, in a chair, or on the toilet. At some point the resident gets tired of waiting. Often they simply do not want to go to the bathroom on themselves. They try to get up and walk on their own when they are supposed to have assistance.
Need a Nursing Home Patient Fall Injury Attorney? Call 813-259-0022 Today!
Should You Call a Nursing Home Neglect Attorney in Florida to Discuss a Slip and Fall?
Nursing homes often do not investigate why a resident fell. When they do investigate, the reason they say a resident fell is not always accurate. As a result, it can be difficult to know whether the fall was preventable. Distasio Law Firm represents families across the entire state of Florida in nursing home abuse attorney and neglect lawsuits. We can help determine if a fall was preventable and if so hold the facility accountable for what happened.