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Is your loved one at risk of a fall injury in a nursing home?

One reason individuals opt to have their older family members live in a nursing home is that they are not safe living at home any more. But safety isn't guaranteed in a nursing home environment, either, making it important to choose a quality facility.

A big cause of accidents in nursing homes is falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nursing homes with approximately 100 beds report between 100 and 200 falls every year. That's up to two falls on average for every resident. Some falls are minor, but for older individuals who are already suffering health concerns, a fall can cause serious injury or death. The CDC reports about 1,800 nursing home falls that lead to death each year.

Why are there so many falls in nursing homes? First, the population in a nursing home is already more prone to falling than other populations. Health issues in old age can lead to balance problems, which make falls more likely. Nursing home residents are often more frail than older individuals their age because of health issues, which means even a slightly fall can break a bone or cause other problems.

Dementia can also lead to increased change of falls, because a person might not remember his or her physical limitation. That can lead to attempting activity that is dangerous for that individual.

Nursing home staff is charged with protecting the residents in a facility, but accidents do happen. Unfortunately, some accidents happen because of neglect in a nursing home. If you have a loved one who was injured in a nursing home fall and you suspect neglect or mistreatment, then you might have a claim for compensation.

Source: United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Falls in Nursing Homes," accessed May 13, 2016

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