Falling is a major risk for older adults. In fact, worries about falls are often a leading reason for people to place their loved ones in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Someone may have had a few minor falls that make loved ones worried that they will soon suffer a more serious fall, or they may have already had a serious fall that resulted in a broken bone.

Unfortunately, falls can and do continue to happen in nursing homes. While some of these falls simply could not be prevented because they are the result of resident behavior, many times nursing home falls are preventable with proper staffing and protocols in place.

Nursing homes should take proactive steps to prevent falls

Given the impact that a fall can have on someone’s life and health, it makes sense that nursing home facilities should have special policies in place to prevent falls among the residents.

Having enough staff on hand is one of the most important steps a nursing home can take. Residents are often dependent on staff help get out of bed, into chairs and even to the bathroom. When staff members don’t respond to requests from residents quickly enough, it is likely they will try to move on their own, putting them at significant risk for a fall.

Looking at the circumstances around a fall can help

If your loved one suffers a fall in a nursing home that leaves them with serious injuries, it’s natural to want answers. Getting information about who was on staff that night, why your loved one fell and how soon they received care, as well as their side of the story, can help you determine if the fall was truly an accident or if it was the result of neglect on the part of nursing home staff that put your loved one in an unnecessarily vulnerable position.