When a person is young, a fall is often more of an embarrassment than a serious matter. Because individuals often develop brittle bones as they age, a fall for a nursing home resident may be disastrous. Sometimes, falls in nursing homes happen for seemingly no reason. Falls are often a consequence of neglect, though, because nursing home professionals have an obligation to provide effective care.
Nursing home patients may be prone to falls for a few different reasons, including medical conditions, confusion, mobility issues and medication. Still, recovering from a fall-related injury may be more difficult for elderly individuals. Therefore, nursing staff should work diligently to minimize fall risk. Here are four common-sense ways to do so.
- Evaluate residents
In any nursing home, some residents usually have a greater likelihood of falling than others. When someone moves into the facility, therefore, nursing home professionals should evaluate the fall risk of each individual. Patients with elevated risk factors such as confusion or mobility issues may require additional monitoring or assistance. Someone with a medical condition may need a different prescription or some other adjustment.
- Train staff appropriately
Caring for elderly patients often requires special skills. The same is true for preventing falls. Accordingly, nursing home administrators should train health care workers on how to properly assist residents. They should also educate employees on responding to fall-related emergencies.
- Ensure adequate staffing
To be profitable, nursing homes typically must have residents in as many beds as possible. Managers should not, however, cut back on staff. If there are not enough health care professionals at the facility to supervise and assist all residents, someone may fall.
- Repair damaged areas
Nursing home residents may move around their rooms or throughout the facility. If there are walking hazards, such as upturned carpet, damaged flooring or wet tiles, a patient may trip or slip and fall. Therefore, staff at the nursing home should not ignore maintenance needs.