The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention depicts that each year a typical nursing home with 100-beds reports between 100 to 200 falls. Further, it notes that 35% of the injuries happen to residents who cannot walk. What magnifies the extent of the problem in nursing homes is that around 1,800 people living in nursing homes die
from falls each year.
Nursing home slip and trip injuries can be quite fatal to seniors; this is because they take longer to heal and may suffer permanent damage. Further, falls and slips to seniors evoke an increased fear of falling in them which leads to depression and social isolation.
Common Nursing Home Slip And Trip Hazards
Over 60% of nursing homes residents will fall each year according to National Floor Safety Institute. Wet floors are a major cause of nursing home slip and trip accidents. The department of Occupational Safety & Health Administration further indicates that wet floor slips can be fatal, leading to possible injuries. In light of this hazard, it is important to put warning signs of wet floors in order to reduce the number of resulting accidents.
Poor Lighting In Nursing Homes
When you visit some nursing homes you will be perplexed by the ratio of the lighting bulbs to the floor area. Given that seniors have ageing eyesight, poorly lit hallways can lead to slip and fall even during the day. Nursing homes should find it in their best interest to properly light their homes to avoid accidents.
Under Staffing And Inadequate Mobility Assistance
The Nursing Home Abuse Guide has cited under staffing as an injury hazard in nursing homes. Seniors are entitled to maximum care every hour of the day. In understaffed nursing homes, seniors may be unable to access such care and may find themselves handling various tasks all by themselves. These tasks include walking for long distances without supervision. This puts them at a high risk of tripping and falling and injuring themselves.
Poorly Maintained Movement Aids
Movement aids include wheelchairs and walkers. Poorly maintained aids increase the probability of slip and falls among the residents. Nursing homes should ensure that their mobility aids are in top condition to prevent such accidents from happening.
Inadequate Bed Rails And Improper Bed Height
Bed rails are important in preventing seniors from falling off their beds. Lack of these rails on seniors’ beds is a hazard that can lead to a fall. A fall from a bed can be fatal and can easily cause death. Nursing homes should fit seniors’ beds with adequate bed rails to prevent resulting accidents. Bed height is also a potential hazard in nursing homes. High beds are difficult for seniors to use, and they can fall while trying to get off them or on them. Nursing homes fix beds of appropriate heights for seniors to reduce the probability of these falls happening.
Poorly Maintained Pavements
These include pavements with potholes or cracks that may cause tripping. These pavements are dangerous to seniors and can lead to trips and falls. Poorly maintained floors also fall into this category. They include dirty floors, for example, floors with leaves and snow. Such floors can cause slips among seniors leading to life-threatening injuries.
Nursing home slip, trip and fall hazards are a major challenge facing workers and residents in the homes. Sometimes these accidents occur due to negligence by the nursing homes towards eliminating these hazards. If such is the case, the injured seniors are entitled to full compensation for the medical bills and other expenses.