Between half and three-quarters of nursing home residents fall each year. That’s twice the rate of falls among older adults living in the community.
These nursing home falls are worrisome for a number of reasons. One reason is that falls often lead to significant injuries. As seen in the CDC document mentioned above:
About 10% to 20% of nursing home falls cause serious injuries; 2% to 6% cause fractures.
In some cases, directly or indirectly (after a period), nursing home falls lead to death:
About 1,800 people living in nursing homes die from falls each year.
There are many injuries that can happen when a fall occurs. These injuries include:
- Broken hips
- Broken arms
- Broken legs
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fatal injuries
Of the injuries listed above, broken hips are especially notable. In addition to the discomfort, treatment, and long recovery time that this injury entails, there are many statistics indicating the commonality and serious nature of such hip fracture injuries. As seen in the CDC page titled “Hip Fractures Among Older Adults“:
A large proportion of fall deaths are due to complications following a hip fracture. One out of five hip fracture patients dies within a year of their injury.
Other sources seem to indicate a higher level of mortality in nursing home residents in the year following a hip fracture.
Various aspects of falls – including the reasons for such falls – are discussed in the “Chicago Nursing Home Falls And Dropped Residents” page.
Even for those fall injuries that do not lead to serious injury, falls can lead to loss of function and cause fear of additional falls, leading to reduced mobility and the adverse effects of such.
Of note, nursing home falls, according to various sources, are the top reason for lawsuits against skilled nursing facilities and long-term health care providers. The McKnight’s article of October 27, 2014, titled “Falls are top reasons for lawsuits against skilled nursing facilities, report states” further discusses this topic.
Should someone you care for in a Chicago nursing home, or any other Illinois nursing home or care facility, suffer a fall that leads to injury, you may have grounds for filing a lawsuit. While, of course, not all falls are caused by carelessness or negligence on the part of the long-term health care provider, in instances where a fall or dropped resident happens due to negligence a lawsuit may be warranted.
Each nursing home fall that leads to injury should be assessed, from a legal perspective, on a case-by-case basis. While not all falls at a care facility will lead to compensation, the Chicago nursing home lawyers at the Elman Law Group will determine whether the health care facility is liable for injuries caused by the nursing home falls. Please call the personal injury trial lawyers at the Elman Law Group at (773) 392-8182 to discuss the incident and to get a legal overview concerning the accident injury.