In an ideal situation, nursing homes provide security and safety for your elderly loved one and peace of mind for you.
Unfortunately, facilities do not always fulfill their duty of care. Older people are at high risk for slip and fall injuries, and this risk increases when caregivers fail to provide a safe environment.
Causes of falls in nursing homes
Nursing homes in Kentucky must follow state regulations. When they do not, the risk of a fall increases.
Improper safety equipment
Facilities must provide mobility aids, such as handrails and walkers. Without them, residents are in danger of falling.
In an understaffed facility, your loved one may not receive the assistance he or she requires. Poor training can lead to inattention and mistakes that put your loved one at risk.
Dim lighting, loose rugs and uneven floors are all risk factors, especially for residents with limited vision and mobility.
Preventing nursing home falls
You can reduce your loved one’s risk by considering several factors in choosing a facility.
When touring the facility, make sure there are handrails and ramps to help residents get around. Observe how the staff interacts with residents.
Manage risk factors
If your loved one has a condition that increases the risk of a fall, such as poor vision or mobility limitations, inform the staff and make sure they have a plan for mitigating the risk.
Ask what precautions are in place to prevent falls and what the procedure is for addressing and reporting a fall.
A nursing home should be a safe, supportive environment. If you have a relative living in a nursing home, be aware of the hazards that may put your loved one at risk for a slip and fall injury.