Falls and Fractures: Protecting Your Loved One in a Nursing Home


nursing home care, eldercare, caregiver, caregivingBy Len Haberman, Esq

Nursing home falls are actually more commonplace than a lot of people realise and as seniors are more vulnerable by nature anyway, a fracture or bad fall can have damaging circumstances.

Tragic injuries can occur to loved ones when they have a fall at their nursing home. They can cause many different types of injuries, some of which have long-term or even fatal consequences. Compensation can sometimes be available if there is a case of neglect leading up to the fall or how they were treated immediately afterwards.

Read more here about some common scenarios and likely outcomes relating to making a claim where the nursing homes are at fault. This article outlines some of the common causes of nursing home falls and what to do when an accident happens or an injury occurs.

Common causes

One of the most common causes for a fall is when the nursing home fails to provide a safe environment that takes into account the raised level of vulnerability of the elderly residents to suffer a fall-related injury.

Nursing homes are required to complete a fall-risk assessment process but more often than is acceptable, it transpires that these assessments have either gone missing or have simply not been completed with the right level of care.

A number of residents in nursing homes will require access to special medical equipment or specially adapted beds in order to reduce the risk of a fall, but this is not always made available to them. Any resident who has a mental or physical disability will also be more susceptible to a fall and this is not always taken into account.

Higher odds

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that around 1,800 nursing home residents die each year as a result from injuries sustained from a fall.

These injuries can be broken bones or a traumatic brain injury. Even those that survive a bad fall can sometimes be left with some permanent disabilities, which unfortunately have an impact on their ongoing quality of life.

It is understood that there are almost double the amount of falls in nursing homes than there are for seniors living in their community. A typical nursing home with about 100 beds, will report somewhere between 100 and 200 falls a year, which is worryingly high ratio of accidents to residents.


These figures could be reduced if there was adequate supervision of residents, especially those that have been identified as being more vulnerable and susceptible to a fall.

Staff working in nursing homes can often work long shifts and this can possibly leave gaps in the level of care and supervision required to maintain safety levels, due to the fact that these workers are fatigued.

If an elderly resident has taken a fall, they require close observation for a period afterwards to ensure that those involved, are not suffering from any internal wounds or bleeding. The worst case scenario happens when the nursing home fails to monitor the resident after a fall and this lack of close observation leads to an intracranial haemorrhage, with fatal consequences.

If you find out that your loved one has suffered a fall at their nursing home, make sure that you ask about the care and attention they have received immediately afterwards and check to ensure that they are monitoring for any signs of health issues as a result of the incident.

Len Haberman, Esq., works as a nursing home attorney in both Philadelphia and New Jersey. When he has the time, he enjoys sharing his experiences with others. You can find his enlightening articles on many legal and senior living websites today.