For the elderly, gone are the days where they can respond to a serious spill by dusting their knees and walking it off. Falls pose a major risk to our elder population and may even result in fractured bones, bruises, loss of mobility, or even a brain injury. Although nursing homes are required to protect residents from hazards and to provide the assistance necessary to prevent falls, falls are still the leading cause when it comes to nursing home injuries. So what can you do?
Be informed about the medications (and risk factors!) your loved one uses. When there is a change in medication or the dosage ask that the nursing home increase the direct care time with your loved one for at least 2 days.
Sedatives, anti-depressants, and diuretics all increase fall risk. Water-pills particularly may cause dehydration and dizziness. A study revealed that residents taking a diuretic were more than twice as likely to fall within one day of receiving a new prescription or an increased dosage. Patients using loop diuretics are at an even greater risk of falling.
Anytime your loved one complains of dizziness, there is a risk of falling. Make sure the nursing home your loved one is in provides proper care and surveillance. And find out what preventative measures are being used to decrease instances of falling.
Remember, falls are more likely to occur at night, so ask that your loved one be given medications during the day, instead of the night. Finally, find out– Does your love one have assistance at night? Who will be available to check in on your loved one and at what times? What ways are available for the resident to call the caregiver?
Even when you work to prevent your elderly loved one from falling, dangerous falls still do occur. When falls happen, Walner & Associates is here for you. We will fight for your loved one and make sure that the nursing home facility is held accountable for any injury suffered because of a nursing home’s negligence in care.