No nursing home can prevent every fall that may occur. However, all nursing homes are required to reduce the risk of fall injuries by assessing the risks to each resident. This assessment will govern the types of precautions that the nursing home may take to lessen the likelihood of a fall. When the nursing home fails to take an assessment, or to implement precautions, then the nursing home can be held responsible for the injuries and loss of life.
In performing a fall risk assessment of a resident, a reasonably careful and skillful nurse may classify a resident as a high fall risk where the following factors are present:
- Resident uses medications;
- Resident has advanced age (85+);
- Resident ambulates or transfers safely with caregivers;
- Resident uses device for transfer or ambulation;
- Resident displays recent increased or decreased mobility;
- Resident has cognitive impairment;
- Resident has visual impairment;
- Resident suffers from depression; and
- Resident has a history of falls (with fracture).
In caring for a high fall risk resident, nursing home staff may implement the following fall interventions:
- Provide a low hospital bed with the brakes in locked position;
- Provide fall mats on the floor at bedside;
- Implement intentional rounding procedures hourly to observe the resident and offer opportunities for toileting and for assistance with any other needs the resident may have;
- Ensure that resident’s room is located in proximity to nurse’s station;
- Provide pressure alarms to alert staff when the resident attempts to get out of bed;
- Provide the resident with a fall-risk bracelet and a door magnet or flag to alert staff that the resident is a high fall risk.
If your loved one has been injured or has died after falling in a nursing home, and you are wondering whether the nursing home is responsible, then please, feel free to call and speak to one of our experienced Georgia nursing home neglect lawyers today. Our consultations are always free.