At Parrish DeVaughn, we spend a lot of time helping nursing home residents and their loved ones after they’ve been abused or neglected. Nursing homes are responsible for many aspects of care and daily life for residents, and some residents even require around-the-clock supervision and treatment. When nursing homes fail to uphold their duties, they can and should be held liable.
But what happens when nursing homes are negligent in other ways that put residents in harm’s way? For example, some nursing homes provide adequate care and supervision, but residents are still unsafe. That’s because the facilities themselves may have many risk factors that can lead to injuries, including slips and falls.
When residents fall and hurt themselves due to preventable circumstances, the care facilities they live in can be held liable, just as if they abused or neglected them.
What Are Common Causes of Nursing Home Slips and Falls?
Just as there are many causes of slips and falls in private homes and businesses, there are many factors that can contribute to these types of accidents and injuries in nursing homes. They include:
Floors in nursing homes can be wet for a variety of reasons, ranging from spilled drinks and leaky roofs to the use of mops and even resident incontinence. Nursing home staff members should always be vigilant for wet floors and ready to clean up spills, fix leaks, or cordon off high-risk areas.
Loose rugs or carpet
Loose rugs and torn or frayed carpets can be prominent trip and fall hazards, especially for elderly nursing home residents. Rugs shouldn’t be used in residents’ rooms or common areas, even if they are secured with grip mats or materials. In addition, damaged carpet should be immediately replaced, as even small tears can be trip hazards.
Failure to assist
Many nursing home residents need assistance moving from their beds to wheelchairs or walkers. Others who can walk still need assistance and help with stability, especially when walking long distances. It’s important for staff members to always provide the necessary “helping hand” in these situations.
Failure to provide adequate equipment
Nursing home doctors and other caregivers should be able to assess when residents are unable to safely walk on their own. Then, they should make arrangements for them to receive or purchase walkers or wheelchairs. When residents who are unsteady on their feet are allowed to continue walking unassisted, they’re at serious risk of falls.
Failure to diagnose health conditions
Many health problems can also put residents at higher risk of slips and falls, even if their bones, muscles, and joints are in good condition. For example, some conditions can cause vertigo or dizziness, while others may cause fainting or extreme fatigue. These residents should receive appropriate care or equipment, such as wheelchairs or walkers.
Lack of safeguards
Even relatively healthy and mobile residents still face fall risks doing everyday activities, such as bathing, using the bathroom, or getting in and out of bed. That’s why bathrooms need to have handrails near toilets and easily accessed showers/tubs, as well as properly positioned beds to make entering and exiting safer and easier.
When Nursing Homes Fail to Protect Residents, We Protect Their Rights to Compensation
Nursing home residents should be free from the fear of abuse, neglect, abandonment, and falling. It’s up to nursing home administrators and staff to do everything in their power to protect residents, many of whom are among the most vulnerable members of society. When they fail to do so, it’s our job to hold them accountable for their negligence.
If your loved one was hurt in a nursing home through no fault of their own, we’re here to help. They may be facing expensive medical bills, and you may be wanting to move them to a new facility. It’s our goal to help you get the compensation you’re owed for the lapse in judgment, accountability, and responsibility that your family endured.
Contact Parrish DeVaughn today for a free consultation. Our Oklahoma nursing home abuse lawyers are ready to take your call and begin building your claim.