Falls result in serious consequences for Michigan nursing home patients

Nursing home patients who fall often sustain serious injuries, become afraid of falling in the future and experience a reduced quality of life.

When nursing home residents in Michigan fall, they often incur serious injuries or even pass away from the effects of the accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1,800 people living in an assisted living facility die from a fall every year and between 10 and 20 percent of all nursing home falls result in severe injuries.

However, serious injuries and the risk of death are not the only consequences associated with falling for nursing home patients. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services states that nursing home residents who fall may experience a reduced quality of life, experience a reduction in their ability to function and develop an increased fear of falling in the future.

How often do falls occur?

Nursing home falls are a common issue in Michigan nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the country. According to the CDC, the average nursing home with 100 beds will report between 100 and 200 falls every year. However, many of these accidents are never reported. Additionally, most nursing home patients fall more than once and the average nursing home patients falls approximately 2.6 times a year.

Why are falls so common in nursing homes?

There are several intrinsic and extrinsic factors that contribute to the high rate of falls in nursing homes. According to the DHHS, intrinsic factors include things like chronic diseases, acute medical conditions, medication side-effects and the natural effects of aging on balance and strength. In comparison, extrinsic factors include unsafe equipment, unsafe personal care items and environmental hazards. For example, a nursing home patient may fall after he or she trips on an uneven floor, tries to walk through an area with poor lighting or is unable to access his or her personal items in his or her room.

One other factor that may lead to nursing home falls is the use of antipsychotics. According to The Huffington Post, these medications are used to make nursing home residents more compliant and can affect their coordination and cause confusion. Although the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 forbids this form of nursing home negligence, more than one out of every five nursing home patients receives these medications anyway.

Taking legal action

After falling, nursing home patients in Michigan may struggle to make a full recovery or participate in the activities they used to enjoy. If you or one of your loved ones fell in a nursing home because of another person's negligence, speak with an attorney to assert your legal rights to fair and proper compensation.

Keywords: nursing home, elder, abuse, neglect