Residents in nursing homes are at a high risk of being affected by COVID-19.  COVID-19 is going to consume a huge amount of resources within nursing homes.

With the strain put on nursing homes by COVID-19 there is even going to be even more resident injury, neglect and abuse.

These people—grandparents, parents, siblings, friends—need our help.  Over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to send a series of newsletters with information about nursing homes.

This week’s newsletter provides an overview about falls in nursing homes.

OVER 90 PERCENT OF FALLS AT NURSING HOMES SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN

Nursing homes like to describe falls as “accidents”.  Accidents are things that can’t be prevented.  Most falls are not accidents—they’re the product of poor planning and execution by the nursing home.

Nursing homes are “built” environments.  They should be designed and constructed with residents in mind.

Residents move slowly and predictably.  They cover relatively small distances when moving.  They spend most of their time in designated areas.

Nursing homes should be safe.  But falls remain a tremendous problem.

Here are some—of the many—hazards that cause residents to fall:

  • Slippery Floors
  • Raised Thresholds
  • Extension Cords Across Walkways
  • Broken Pavement
  • Bunched-up Door Mats
  • Mis-Adjusted Bed Rails
  • Unsafe Transfers
  • Single Risers (Single Stairs)
  • Stairs without Distinct Nosing
  • Missing or Inadequate Handrails
  • Improper Configuration of Stairs

All of these hazards can cause falls.  And any fall can be life-altering or life-ending in an older person.  Probably the biggest concern is a broken hip.  But older people are highly susceptible to all types of fractures and blood thinners make brain injuries that much riskier.