When a senior citizen decides to move into a nursing home, they should expect professional care and a safe environment. Unfortunately, many seniors suffer serious injuries as residents of nursing facilities, including falls that often lead to disability and a decreased quality of life.
If your loved one was injured as a result of unsafe practices at a nursing home, you should seek legal representation from a personal injury attorney skilled in nursing home injury cases. A lawyer can help you seek justified compensation and corrective action that helps prevent similar accidents.
Nursing Home Fall Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that between 50 and 70 percent of nursing home residents suffer a fall each year, which is a rate twice that of seniors who live independently. While nursing facility residents make up 5 percent of the 65-and-over population, they account for 20 percent of deaths attributed to falls, with an estimated 1,800 annual fatalities.
Up to 27 percent of these falls occur due to hazards such as slippery floors or insufficient lighting. These negligent actions and inactions often violate federal regulations dictated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, including F323, which states a facility must ensure:
- The resident environment must remain as free from accident hazards as possible.
- Each resident must receive adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.
Facilities and staff members are required to identify and evaluate any hazards and risks, implement changes to reduce danger, and monitor the effectiveness of those measures.
Nursing homes are expected to take steps to prevent falls, including:
- Providing non-skid footwear for residents
- Ensuring adequate facility lighting
- Maintaining sufficient staff supervision and assistance
- Providing a staff call bell within a resident’s reach at all times
- Using proper floor mats
- Offering specialty mattresses and bed sensors
If a skilled nursing facility does not provide a safe environment as required, they can be found liable for injuries that result from incidents and patterns of negligence.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
Federal guidelines have been put in place to ensure nursing home residents maintain the same independence and safety they experienced while living at their own residence. When a facility fails to live up to these standards, seniors and their families have legal recourse. To discuss a potential nursing home injury lawsuit, call a DuPage County personal injury attorney from Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered Attorneys at Law at 630-462-1980 for a free consultation.