In the United States, the CDC reports that more than 1.4 million adults older than 65 years live in nursing home. This number will rise to about 3 million in 2030.
With so many people turning to nursing homes for care in their old age, it's astonishing to think about how common injuries are in nursing homes. Some injuries may just be incidental to age. However, many injuries are due to neglect, abuse, or dangerous conditions in the nursing homes.
Here are three common nursing home injuries to watch out for:
The CDC also reports that, every year, nearly three-quarters of nursing home residents fall. Often patients fall more than once per year. Falls cause about 1,800 deaths among nursing home residents yearly.
Older people in general are prone to falls due to muscle weakness or gait problems. However, environmental causes including wet floors, poor lighting, incorrect bed height, and improperly fitted wheelchairs can also increase risks of falls.
Bedsores, more formally known as pressure ulcers, develop when a patient remains in one position for too long, putting prolonged pressure on their skin. These sores occur most often on heels, ankles, hips and tailbones.
Elderly patients who are unable to move on their own often require frequent help turning over or shifting positions to alleviate pressure. If your loved one is developing bed sores, it may be a sign that the nursing staff is neglecting its duties or not providing the appropriate level of care.
3. Overdose or Improper Medication
Many elderly nursing home residents require multiple medications. Now, multiply this with ten, twenty, or a hundred residents, and it's easy to see how inexperienced or busy caregivers could cause an overdose or give the wrong medication to the wrong patient.
If you noticed signs of neglect or if your family member has suffered an injury at a nursing home, you may have a negligence claim. Also, the nursing home may be violating the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you evaluate your claim.