One of the most important things for nursing homes to do is to prevent their elderly residents from falling. Falls are a major health concern and tend to be common among the elderly.
When a person falls while in a nursing home or any other health institution, the sad reality is that it can lead to functional decline as well as an increased length of stay when returning home may have been a possibility.
What should nursing homes be doing to prevent falls?
The first thing that should always happen is for the nursing home to determine if a resident is a fall risk. If a person is not balanced when standing or has a history of falls, that could mean that they’re likely to fall again.
Some possible ways to address the risk of falls are to:
- Promote the correct exercises for improved balance among patients
- Improve staff-to-patient ratios to improve response times when patients call for assistance
- Implement a system where residents are checked on regardless of whether or not the call light is presently activated
- Use call buttons/lights to give the resident the option to ask for assistance when they want to get up
There is never going to be a way to completely eliminate the risk of falls among nursing home patients, but with the right plans in place, many falls can be prevented. It’s most important that repeated falls don’t take place and that patients with a history of falls are monitored and responded to when calls are placed.
Repeated falls can be a sign of nursing home neglect, which is something to watch out for. Those who fall often may be at risk of serious injuries or death, which a family could then pursue a claim over.