Transitioning a parent into life at a nursing home or continuing care facility can prove emotional and difficult under the best of circumstances. However, it can be even more of a struggle if you have concerns about the quality of care your parent will receive while there.
Unfortunately, many American nursing homes offer less-than-ideal living environments for residents, and many also suffer from chronic understaffing issues, which can have a direct impact on quality of care. Falls, for example, are a major problem among nursing-home residents, per Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, but understaffing and other problems common in these facilities can make your loved one more likely to fall and suffer an injury.
Nursing-home fall statistics
Just how common are falls among residents of nursing homes? The average nursing home reports somewhere between 100 and 200 falls annually, but this may not paint an accurate picture of the true number of falls residents are suffering because many falls go unreported.
Furthermore, the deaths of about 1,800 nursing-home residents result from falls and fall-related injuries every year, highlighting just how much of a problem nursing-home falls have become. Statistics also reveal troubling findings about the rates at which nursing-home residents are falling in comparison to other older Americans who do not live in nursing homes. Up to three-quarters of nursing-home residents fall at least once a year, which is more than twice the rate of falls among older Americans who live outside of nursing-home settings. Also, Americans 65 and above who live in nursing homes die due to fall-related injuries four times more than those who live either at home or in the care of family members or other loved ones.
If you have a loved one living in a nursing home and you have concerns about him or her falling, do not hesitate to inquire about the types of protective measure the facility has in place to help prevent resident falls.