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Traumatic Fall Injuries in Nursing Homes – Part 1

Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury for older adults. Falls are also vastly underreported. It is important to clarify what constitutes a fall.

In hospitals, 7.5% of all patients will experience at least one fall. In patients 65 years or older, almost 25% of them will experience a fall. 30% of these falls will result in injury. Those with impaired cognition are at a greater risk for falling. Half of all hospital falls are related to going to bathroom.

Roughly 5% of people 65 or older live in nursing homes, but nursing home residents account for 20% of deaths from falls. A typical 100-bed nursing home will report between 100 to 200 falls per year. Between 50 to 75% of all nursing home residents fall each year, more than twice the rate for similarly aged adults living in the community. 35% of injurious falls happen among residents who cannot walk.

A case study of falls in one nursing home over the course of a year found:

  • Falls were the most frequently reported incident;
  • The majority of falls occurred while the resident was in bed, on the toilet, in a wheelchair, and other non-ambulatory instances

Falls are the result of many different factors for each individual. Different healthcare professionals focus on different factors. For example:

Physical therapists are concerned with factors like balance, strength, and endurance;

  • Occupational therapists are concerned with environmental risks, especially in the home;
  • Doctors and Pharmacists focus on possible drug interactions that could contribute to an increased risk of falls;
  • Nurses focus about incontinence and issues related to pain that could trigger falls.

This is the first in a 4-part blog series regarding falls in nursing homes.  For more information about the occurrence of traumatic fall injuries resulting from neglect in Minnesota nursing homes, check out these stories:

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic  injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse  in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law  Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost,  no-obligation consultation.