Every year hundreds of slip and fall accidents threaten the lives of nursing home residents through serious health complications resulting from debilitating injuries. Although slip and fall accidents are unfortunate at any age, they are far more dangerous in the older age group as compared to younger individuals who usually suffer minor injuries and can recover faster. Nursing home slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of elderly hospitalization, injuries, and even death.
The senior citizens involved in such accidents can suffer from physical disability, lasting health issues, reduced quality of life, and mental health issues as a result of these accidents. If your loved one got injured in a slip and fall accident at a nursing home, they might be entitled to financial compensation for their physical, emotional, and financial damages.
Causes of Nursing Home Slip and Fall Accidents
Some of the leading causes of nursing home slip and fall accidents include the following:
Ambulatory issues in senior members at nursing homes include muscle weakness, paralysis, gait disturbances, etc. These problems can interfere with normal walking and may cause the elderly to encounter unfortunate slip and fall accidents at nursing homes. According to some estimates, these ambulatory issues account for nearly one-fourth of all nursing home accidents.
Environmental hazards like equipment in the nursing home hallways can cause senior citizens to slip and fall leading to serious physical injury. These hazards account for nearly one-third of all nursing home accidents involving the elderly.
Safety hazards are some of the most common causes of these accidents. These hazards include dim lighting, slippery floors, broken tiles, ill-fitting wheelchairs, high beds, etc.
Medicines like anti-depressants and sedatives increase the risk of slip and fall injuries in the elderly. These drugs act on the central nervous system and inhibit it, increasing the chances of accidental injuries if the elderly are not cared for. Most slip and fall accidents occur within three days of taking such medicines.
Lapses in Nursing and Care
Older adults can suffer from slip and fall injuries due to lapses in nursing and care at nursing homes. Moving from one place to another without proper assistance, ill-fitting shoes, poor foot care, improper or absent use of walking sticks or canes, etc., can result in slips and falls at nursing homes.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries in Nursing Homes
Injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents at nursing homes include:
Bone fractures are the most common type of slip and fall injury in the elderly. When seniors slip and fall, landing on their back can cause fractures of the hip bone and vertebral disc slips. Additionally, efforts to block the fall can cause fractures of the wrist and hand bones. Hip fractures are extremely dangerous for the elderly and result in death in half of such cases.
Concussions & TBIs
While seniors can recover from concussions and temporary loss of consciousness resulting from slip and fall injuries, TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injuries) are much more dangerous and can lead to permanent neurological consequences or even death.
Wrist and ankle sprains are quite common in nursing home slip and fall injuries. While younger individuals can fully recover from these injuries within a few days or weeks, it might take months for the elderly to heal from joint sprains, significantly impacting their quality of life.