Falls among the elderly in New Mexico, including those staying in nursing homes and other retirement facilities, are very serious affairs. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hundreds of people die from complications due to falls every year. Moreover, up to 1 in 5 of those who fall suffer what are described as serious injuries, with a handful of these injuries being broken bones.
Falling is a problem that is particularly pronounced in nursing homes. In fact, well over half of those who stay in nursing homes have fallen at least once, with patients on average falling at least twice each year.
The said thing about these statistics is that many of these falls could be prevented with the proper medical care from the nursing home.
For example, many falls, happen because a patient is simply having difficulty with walking or, more specifically, with their muscles. While to some extent this is not a nursing home's fault, is the responsibility of a patient's caregivers to monitor the patient's condition and take appropriate precautions if the patient is a heightened risk for a fall.
Moreover, in many cases, there is something wrong with the patient's surroundings. For example, slippery or wet floors, a messy room with floor clutter and inappropriate shoes or socks can all contribute to a patient's fall. Likewise, if a patient's medications aren't being properly managed or if a patient is not being monitored after taking certain types of medications, a bad fall can be the end result.
Like everyone who cares for the elderly, nursing homes need to be proactive in taking steps to prevent falls by ensuring a safe environment for their patients and by treating their patients if they have issues that can cause falling. There are also steps nursing homes can take to protect patients from serious injuries if they do fall.
When nursing homes do not take these important and usually simple steps, a patient who winds up getting hurt because of a fall may be able to sue for compensation via a nursing home neglect claim.