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Fall Injuries a Common Risk for Elderly in Southwest Florida

Residents of assisted-living facilities and nursing homes are at high risk of fall injuries. Of those who experience a fall accident, over a third will suffer a head injury as a result of the incident, according to a new study.
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As reported in US News, researchers looked at more than 220 fall accidents among more than 130 seniors who were living in long-term care facilities. Of these falls, residents hit their head on the floor close to 65 percent of the time, hit their head on furniture about 20 percent of the time and hit their head on a wall in 15 percent of the cases.

Our Fort Myers nursing home neglect attorneys understand falls are common causes of serious injuries. To put it in perspective, younger people rarely hit their heads when they fall. This is because when we age, our ability to react lessens and our risks for accidents increase. That’s why it’s important that we choose an assisted-living center for our loved ones that we are sure will properly care for them.

To break it down, the risk for head injuries among the elderly is much higher when falling forward than when falling backward. And attempts to break the fall by using arms are also ineffective.

Things to look for in a nursing home:

-Has carpet that is secured to the floor.

-Clear walkways free of debris.

-Has non-slip strips on both floors and steps.

-Has a staff responsive to spills and other hazards.

-Has precautions in place when moving from indoors to outdoors.

-A facility that is well lit, especially in stairways or walkways. There should always be light switches at both the top and bottom of stairs.

-Stairs should have handrails on both sides.

-Showers and tubs should have properly-placed grab bars.

-There should be no throw rugs as those are more common in fall accidents.

In a fall accident, hitting your head can cause a head injury. A fall can break a bone, resulting in surgery and months of physical therapy. Did you know that falls are the leading cause of death due to injury among adults age 65 and older?

Broken hips from falls lead to the greatest number of deaths.

In 2010, there were close to 2.5 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults treated in emergency departments and more than 660,000 of these patients were hospitalized. That means that one in three adults aged 65 and older falls each year. Of those who fall, roughly 20 percent to 30 percent suffer moderate to severe injuries that make it hard for them to get around or live independently, and increase their risk of early death.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury at a nursing facility, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. 1-888-579-8699.

More Blog Entries:

Choosing a Southwest Florida Nursing Home , Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, September 3, 2013
New Florida Nursing Home Laws Would Make Suing Tougher, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, April 23, 2013