A closer look at the causes of falls in nursing homes

For many Washington families, the process of finding and selecting a nursing home for their elderly loved ones is not a decision taken lightly. Rather, many families spend significant time, thought and resources to find a perfect fit and a facility where their loved one will be treated compassionately with access to quality care. However, in many unfortunate instances throughout the nation each year, elderly people are subjected to abuse and neglect at the hands of trusted caregivers. 

One of the primary causes of injuries in many nursing homes across the nation is falls. According to the Nursing Home Abuse Guide, there are many reasons why falls occur and nearly all of them are completely preventable. Some of the most common causes for falls in nursing homes include the following:

  • Poor foot care.
  • Problems with how an elderly person walks.
  • Improperly fitted shoes.
  • Poor maintenance or fitting of various walking aids.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Poor housekeeping and environmental hazards including wet floors, improper bed height and poor lighting.

Elderly folks may also be at a higher risk of falling when they have to take certain medications that may make them drowsy or compromise their balance or vision. If an elderly patient desires to move from one location to another in his or her room, he or she should be readily assisted by a staff member who is capable of supporting extra weight. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year in the U.S., nearly 2.8 million elderly people are treated for fall-related injuries.