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1 of the biggest threats to nursing home residents is falling

Getting older presents a completely new set of challenges for Texas residents. At some point, they may require more care than their families can provide. At that point, families do what they can to find a nursing home they believe will provide their loved one with the care he or she needs.

If this is the position you are in, you may have done some research regarding how to identify when your aging family member may suffer neglect or abuse by the nursing home staff since it seems to be in the news more often than you would like. Bedsores, malnutrition and poor hygiene may be obvious causes, but you may also want to consider falling an indication that something is wrong as well.

How prevalent is falling in nursing homes?

More than likely, your loved one is going into a nursing home because his or her health precludes remaining at home alone or even with a relative. This makes your family member vulnerable to many things, including falls. In fact, people over the age of 65 risk falling at four times the rate of those under that age. You may find it alarming that as much as 75 percent of residents living in nursing homes fall each year. 

Somewhere between 100 to 200 falls occur each year in typical 100-bed nursing homes. Between 10 and 20 percent of the falls that happen annually result in serious injuries and permanent damage. Many of the residents who fall can't even walk. Approximately 36 of the falls that occur in these facilities each year may have been prevented.

Nursing home staff may fall short of their duties

The staff members of nursing homes are required to remain vigilant and protect residents from all manner of injuries, including falls. This includes keeping the environment free of hazards, making sure those who require help receive it, and ensuring that they have the proper footwear and walking aids. If the staff members of the nursing home fail to meet these minimal standards, it could result in falls and other injuries that put the life of your loved one in jeopardy.

If your aging family member falls in a nursing home, and you discover that the fall was preventable, you may have legal options. Nursing home residents have rights, including the right to a certain standard of care. When not received, it may be possible to hold the liable parties accountable.

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