There are more than 1.4 million adults over the age of 65 in Georgia and across the U.S. who live in a nursing home. The number is expected to reach 3 million by 2030. Even though they are caring for some of the most vulnerable people under one roof, nursing homes are continually reporting injuries of one kind or another. Below are three of the most common.
Because of muscle weakness or issues with gait and balance, many nursing home residents fall. In fact, nearly three-quarters of residents fall each year, according to the CDC, with many residents falling multiple times. Annually, there are some 1,800 fall-related deaths in nursing homes.
Many of these falls are not the fault of the residents, though. Wet floors, dim lighting, incorrect bed height and other examples of nursing home negligence can contribute. The same goes for the other two types of injuries: bedsores and injuries from a medication error.
In the case of bedsores, which usually develop on the heel, ankle, hip and tailbone, these could be the result of nursing home staff members failing to change their patients’ positions in bed. As for medication errors, these can occur when staff members, especially the busy or inexperienced ones, have no good way to keep track of multiple medications.
Many nursing home injury cases involve negligence. A family with an elderly loved one who has been neglected or even abused may want to talk to a lawyer about the situation. It could be that there is a clear violation of the Nursing Home Reform Act, which was passed in 1987. Whatever proof there is, the lawyer or a team of third-party investigators may bring it together to strengthen the case. Plaintiffs may also have the lawyer negotiate on their behalf.