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Falls kill about 1,800 U.S. nursing home residents annually


When you have a parent or other elder loved one living in a nursing home, you may have decided that your loved one required more care and attention than you personally would be able to provide. Often, people who enter nursing homes do so because they lack the mobility needed to properly care for themselves, and they count on nursing home staff members to make their lives easier.

Recent statistics detailed in Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, however, reveal some troubling information about just how often older Americans are falling in nursing home environments. Research shows that the typical, 100-bed American nursing home reports between 100 and 200 resident falls every year. However, because so many falls go unreported because of fears of sanctions, among other reasons, this figure is likely quite conservative.

Also troubling is the fact that many nursing home resident falls result from circumstances that were avoidable. Estimates indicate that between 16% and 27% of all nursing home resident falls result from environmental factors, such as loose carpeting, wet floors and so on. Other estimates suggest that about 30% of all nursing home resident falls experienced nationally result from other improper resident bed heights or insufficient or damaged bed handrails.

It may also surprise you to learn that your loved one is statistically more likely to suffer a serious fall when living in a nursing home than he or she would be living alone or in the company of family members. In fact, adults over 65 are four times more likely to die from fall-related injuries when they live in nursing homes, as opposed to alternative environments. Find more about elder abuse on our webpage.