Falls In Florida Nursing Homes: Surprising Findings
It may not come as a surprise to know that millions of individuals aged 65 years or older fall every year, at a rate of around 1 in 4 older people. However, other statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are shocking. Falls are the #1 cause of injury-related fatalities in this age group, and the rate has increased approximately 30 percent from 2009 to 2018. If these trends continue, officials predict that there will be 7 fall deaths every hour among the elderly by 2030.
Another statistic that may concern some families is the incidence rate of falls in nursing homes. While just 5 percent of 65+ adults reside in assisted living communities, residents account for around 20 percent of all fatalities from falls within this age group. You expect quality care when placing a loved one in a facility, so it is unacceptable that these tragedies occur. A Miami nursing home injuries attorney can assist with your legal remedies, which you will certainly want to consider in light of the following findings.
Serious Injuries from Falls
Approximately 20 percent of falls will cause serious trauma to the victim, such as hip fractures and broken bones in the wrist, arm, and ankle. CDC figures show that anywhere from 50 to 75 percent of residents in assisted living centers fall every year, so a significant proportion of them will need urgent care for these injuries.
Hip Injuries and Hospitalization
The CDC reports that falls frequently cause hip displacement and fractures, and these injuries typically require hospitalization. A vulnerable elderly person being admitted to the hospital is at a higher risk of developing infection, which means longer stays and increased medical costs. Environmental hazards, including wet floors, inadequate lighting, inappropriate bed height, and ill-fitted wheelchairs cause up to 27 percent of these falls.
Nursing Home Falls and Head Trauma
Falls are the top cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among all age groups, but there are additional concerns when the victim is elderly. Individuals who are on blood thinners or related medications may experience excessive bleeding in the brain, which could cause life-threatening implications.
Many people who fall develop an intense fear of falling again, and the statistics justify their anxieties: Falling once doubles the potential for another fall incident. However, another problem is that these fears can lead the victim to become less active and physically weaker – hence increasing the possibility of another fall. Plus, the fear of falling can lead to:
- Isolation from family, friends, and fellow nursing home residents
- Feelings of helplessness
- Loss of function and mobility
- Other implications that reduce quality of life
Our Florida Nursing Home Injuries Lawyers Will Explain the Laws
These facts are disturbing, but it should be a relief to know that Florida law provides you with legal options if your loved one suffered injuries from a nursing home fall. To learn more about them, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers.