Falls are one of the most dominant causes of injuries in nursing homes. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) sets the current tally at nearly one million falls, attributing falls to factors like aging gaits and medication side-effects.

Falls among the elderly can lead to devastating injuries. At their worst, falls can cause death — especially when they cause injuries to the skull, hip, and spine.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has included several steps to address the rising incidences of falls in nursing homes. These five steps will not only prevent falls but also mitigate the risks of injuries sustained by elderly residents.

1. Use Special Flooring in Accident-prone Parts of the Room

Some areas in a resident’s room can be sites for falls. These areas can include the areas near the bedside and the bathroom. Fall prevention is key. However, it is equally crucial to have special flooring in place to cushion residents should they fall.

According to the Annals of Long-Term Care, spongy flooring layered with polyurethane was effective in preventing severe injuries from falls. In one study, the average of injuries from falls dropped dramatically from such floors.

RELATED ARTICLE: Investigations Regarding Possibly Contaminated Baby Formulas

2. Review Medication Side Effects

Many medications like antihypertensives and antilipidemic agents (anti-cholesterol drugs) can result in light-headedness and impaired depth perception. These two side effects can disorient elderly residents, causing them to lose balance.

Hence, nursing home staff like the nurses and physicians need to review the side effects of medications and inform residents of them. This can make residents aware of the risks of falling.

3. Start an Exercise Regimen

According to the CDC, one of the reasons behind an elderly person’s susceptibility to falls is reduced muscle tone and bone density. With age, muscle fibers tend to atrophy, with the reduction in tone and bone density resulting in decreased muscle strength.

Based on the CDC’s recommendations, progressive exposure to physical activities is key to preventing falls and injuries. One way to mitigate the risks of falls and injuries is resistance exercise, which stalls the atrophy of muscles.

RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Ways a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

4. Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation

Vitamin D and calcium are key for the development of osteocytes. These cells consolidate into solid pillars of bone that remain resilient with activity and proper supplementation. Vitamin D and calcium make bones stronger and have also been proven important to offset osteoporosis in elderly adults.

With vitamin D and calcium supplementation, residents will have the bone strength to move safely. Bone resilience also reduces the risks of fracture in the event of falls.

RELATED ARTICLE: Common Nursing Home Violations and Fines

5. Reduce Excessive Noise 

Noise has been shown to cause restlessness in the elderly. In noisy environments, elderly residents will move to a quiet area. Unfortunately, it is during this time that they risk falling and sustaining injuries.

Elderly residents are less likely to leave a quiet room. Hence, an easy way to reduce the risk of falling during movement is by eliminating or reducing noise. This will also make sure that the elderly are startled less, reducing falls that happen due to surprise.

Do You Suspect Failure To Implement These Steps?

A nursing home’s failure to implement the above-mentioned steps endangers the lives of residents — including your elderly loved one in the home’s care. If you suspect that your loved one is not in safe hands, give us a call today – 419-843-6663.

Pin It on Pinterest