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Falls kill about 1,800 U.S. nursing home residents annually

When you place a parent or another elderly loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you likely do so after acknowledging that he or she needs extra assistance when it comes to getting around and otherwise caring for his or herself. While deciding to move a loved one into a care facility is often an extremely difficult one, it can be easier on the entire family when you know your loved one will receive a high level of care in the residence you select.

Unfortunately, not all American nursing home residents receive the level of care they deserve, and numerous factors contribute to this. In many cases, nursing homes lack adequate nurses or other staff members, which can make it extremely difficult for your loved one to receive the mobility and other assistance he or she needs. Industrial Safety & Hygiene News reports that falls happen at alarming rates in many nursing home environments, with the average 100-bed nursing home reporting between 100 and 200 resident falls every year.

Many resident falls go unreported

While these numbers are high, they may only tell part of the story. Many nursing home resident falls go unreported, either because a staff member fears facing sanctions or because he or she does not believe a fall was substantial enough to warrant filing a report. However, the fact remains that falls kill entirely too many nursing home residents each year, and negligence plays a role in many of these falls.

Nursing home residents face elevated fall risks

While the high number of falls suffered by nursing home residents is troubling, so, too, is the disparity between the number of older adults who fall in nursing homes and the number of older adults who fall in other settings. Compared to adults 65 and older who live at home, or in the company of loved ones, nursing home residents are four times more likely to die from fall-related injuries.

If your parent or loved one requires extra mobility assistance, find out what a prospective nursing home can do for him or her before making a final decision as to where to place your loved one.

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