Practice Area: Elder Abuse

FALLS

Elderly people are often in nursing homes because of limited mobility. They may rely on walkers or canes. They may be confined to wheelchairs and unable to move independently. When the nursing home fails to take adequate care to assure patients do not fall, they need to take responsibility for their negligence.

We don’t take “It couldn’t be helped” as an answer.

Sometimes an elderly person with dementia cannot navigate an obstacle. Bathroom transfers from a wheelchair to the toilet and back can cause a fall, if adequate care is not used. When a patient has reduced mental capacity, the patient might wander off, not know where he or she is, get confused, and fall.

For an older person, a fall can be devastating. The risk of broken bones, including broken hips, is much higher for older people than for younger, healthier people — and healing takes longer. A fall can cause skin tears that lead to infections. Fall injuries can result in swelling and severe pain. The injuries can be difficult to see and the patient may not be able to describe them — or mistake them for other types of pain.

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