When you make the difficult decision to trust a nursing home with the care of your loved one, you want to know for certain that he or she is being kept safe. It’s natural to want an assurance, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the nursing staff is doing everything possible to protect your family member from injury by devoting the same attention you would provide if it were possible to keep your loved one at home with you.
Sadly, many of the injuries sustained at nursing homes come as a result of preventable falls. Often times, an injury from a fall causes a nursing home resident to lose mobility, speech, hope, and ultimately results in a downward spiral of unnecessary suffering and heartache. For this reason, it’s critical that the nursing home take certain simple steps to protect your loved one before a fall takes place.
Did you know that state and federal regulations exist which obligate nursing homes to keep residents’ rooms and hallways free of hazards that could potentially cause them to fall? There are many preventative measures that a nursing home must take to keep your loved one safe. When a resident first arrives at a nursing home, it is customary for the facility to assess them from head to toe in order to identify any conditions that might warrant additional attention or monitoring.
From there, an individualized care plan must be put into place to meet the specific needs of each resident so as to provide optimal protection for your loved one. You should feel free to ask the nursing staff whether your loved one has been assessed and/or a care plan has been implemented. It is also appropriate to insist that the appropriate measures be put into place to prevent your loved one from falling. Fundamentally, the nursing staff should check on the residents frequently so as to anticipate their needs and offer assistance. Sadly, many residents fall and sustain injuries because the staff was not present to help them with simple tasks like using the bathroom or getting something out of a closet.
Tragically, many nursing homes fail to take these relatively simple steps to keep your loved one safe. As a result, nursing home residents are caused to endure tremendous and sometimes grave consequences. If you have a loved one at a nursing home, you have every right to advocate for your family member to make sure that the staff is doing everything possible to keep them safe. Remember, the key to preventing injury comes before the fall.