Nursing Home Safety

January 31, 2020

Seniors are at increased risk for accidents or injuries, especially those living in assisted living facilities. Nursing home safety begins with staff who should have plans in place to prevent accidents and mitigate injuries.

Top Safety Concerns for Nursing Home Patients

Growing older comes with many challenges, including memory loss, mood swings, loss of coordination, and instability. These issues pose enormous risks for the elderly.

Though not all nursing home accidents can be prevented, the staff has a duty to understand the top safety concerns and risks for seniors. They should have a plan in place to ensure the residents remain safe.

Trip and Fall Accidents

Falls are the leading cause of injuries to the elderly. About once every 15 seconds, a senior citizen is taken to the emergency room due to a fall-related injury. As people age, they become less stable and less flexible due to shrinking bones and weakened muscles.

Nursing home staff should put measures in place to ensure a safer facility, including:

  • Encourage more physical activity for residents to help increase stability and strength
  • Recommend use of assistive walking devices 
  • Provide good lighting, ramps, and elevators to make walking around easier
  • Install rubber mats, grab bars, and shower seats for bathtubs

Not Providing Proper Assistive Devices

Seniors living in nursing homes should be provided with appropriate assistive devices. If the patient does not have access to wheelchairs, bed rails, bed lifts, bathing lifts, or other assistive devices, they could be at higher risk of harm.

Merely having the devices available may not prevent injuries. The nursing home staff should be well trained in using assistive devices properly; otherwise, injuries may occur.

Medication Errors

Many older adults require several types of medications to manage chronic health conditions. If these medications are not taken correctly, and without proper consultation with a doctor or pharmacist, it could cause severe adverse reactions, sickness, or even death.

Additionally, due to lapses in memory, an elderly patient may forget to take their medication, or they may double-dose. Staff members should help prevent medication errors by tracking the time and dosage of required medications. Staff should also be sure to double-check the labels when administering medication to ensure the resident is receiving the correct medication and dosage.

Abuse from Residents or Staff

Another significant danger to residents is nursing home abuse. Nursing home abuse can be physical, emotional, or sexual abuse from other residents or staff members. Staff members should be trained to recognize signs of nursing home abuse and should have an established intervention process for protecting the resident.

Contact an Attorney

Saladino & Schaaf has decades of experience representing Kentuckians in personal injury lawsuits, including elder and nursing home abuse. If you or a loved one have been injured or otherwise abused while residing at a nursing home, contact us online or at (270) 444-0406 or (270) 753-1592 to schedule a free consultation today. You may be entitled to significant compensation, but the clock is ticking.




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Nursing Home Safety - Keeping your loved ones safe in nursing home




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