TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan. In the U.S., falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury. Among older adults, especially, falls can be life-altering and deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 700,000 people are hospitalized because of falls every year, and another 250,000 older adults are hospitalized for hip fractures. The personal injury attorneys at Christopher Trainor & Associates in Traverse City Michigan understand the serious financial and personal toll falls can take on victims and their families. Fall prevention is key.
Nursing homes are often on the front lines of fall prevention in the elderly. They house the most vulnerable members of the population and as a result have a duty to make sure their residents are safe. If your loved one resides in a nursing home, there are important steps you can take to make sure the home is safe. According to the McPherson Sentinel, nursing homes can make modifications to the premises to keep older residents safe. These modifications can include removing debris from lawns, sidewalks, and from hallways and stairs, and ensuring that resident’s rooms are free of clutter. Stairs can be painted so that they are more visible to residents with poor eyesight. Cords should be out of the path of residents and should never cross a hallway or walking space. If the nursing home has rugs, they should be carefully secured so as to not create a tripping hazard. The nursing home should also have proper lighting in all areas, in addition to outside lighting. Finally, families should inspect bathrooms and showers to make sure there are grab bars, elevated toilet seats, and shower benches.
Families can also be aware of other risks that could make it more likely that their loved one may slip and fall. For instance, certain medications, even over-the-counter drugs, can lead to drowsiness or dizziness. Families should also make sure their loved one has appropriate prescription glasses and ensure that their loved one’s eyesight is tested regularly. Finally, families can also speak to the nursing home to make sure their loved one’s medication is being monitored for possible interactions and that their loved one is getting regular exercise, which can help prevent falls.
If you are concerned that your loved one’s nursing home may be contributing to a slip and fall hazard, you should try to speak to nursing staff, and, if necessary, report any violations. Before you place your loved one in a nursing home, you may want to research the home to make sure it doesn’t have a history of past violations. ProPublica recently performed an investigative report into nursing homes that received the largest fines and the greatest number of citations.
If your loved one was hurt due to a slip and fall, you and your family may be facing immense stress and challenges. The cost of caring for your loved one can be difficult for the family. Fortunately, the law offers important protections to slip and fall victims. If you believe another person’s neglect, negligence, or premises resulted in your loved one’s personal injury, visit http://www.michiganlegalcenter.com/traverse-city-car-accidents to learn more about your options.