Falls are a major concern as people grow older. Changes in the immune system related to aging slow healing. A loss of bone density often affects people’s posture, which then leads to a shift in their center of gravity. People also have lower muscle mass as they get older. All of these realities can combine to cause older adults to fall and suffer particularly serious injuries as a result of their age.
A prior fall or elevated risk for one is certainly a primary motivation that inspires some family members to move a loved one into a nursing home. Unfortunately, sometimes the worst falls occur at long-term care facilities. Why are such falls such a serious concern for residents and their families?
A fall often leads to a significant medical decline
On its own, a fall may not be particularly severe, but age complicates the consequences. Older adults are more likely to suffer broken bones or painful soft tissue injuries that take weeks to subside. When an older adult ends up immobilized because of an injury, their quality of life will decrease in many cases.
They may start refusing food or experiencing cognitive issues that had not manifested previously. The stress combined with intense boredom can often aggravate pain levels. The issues older adults experience after a fall can lead to a cascade of medical events that may culminate in someone’s premature death.
How family members can help
Being an advocate for a loved one is always important, but even those who carefully research nursing home could still place their loved ones at a location where they fall. Although a large number of nursing home falls are preventable, they are a major safety concern for older adults dependent on the care of others in residential facilities.
Helping ensure that a loved one receives an appropriate standard of care so that they don’t apply to handle daily matters without support is one crucial means of preventing a fall. In some cases, family members may also need to take legal action following an incident where a loved one got hurt due to nursing home negligence.
Showing that a better standard of care or more staff would have prevented a loved one’s fall can help people successfully pursue a nursing home negligence claim. Seeking legal guidance from a professional who understands the ins and outs of such cases can help loved ones to accomplish this aim successfully.