As Americans are getting older, many families are placed in the difficult position of needing to take care of an older family member. This can be a delicate situation for both the elderly person and for the family. In many cases, the families are not equipped to deal with the serious medical conditions these elderly individuals are facing. Because of this, many families are forced to place their elderly family members in nursing homes.
This is a difficult decision that is only made harder when the elderly person suffers an injury in the care of the nursing home. Families trust that these facilities are taking the very best care of their loved ones. However, in some situations this does not occur. Negligence in nursing homes is not uncommon and neither is nursing home abuse.
Falls, for example, are very common in nursing homes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many falls are reported in nursing homes each year. Any typical year, a nursing home facility with 100 beds can expect to report between 100 and 200 falls. The CDC reports that this rate is about twice as high as the number of falls reported for elderly individuals living in the general community.
In fact, the average nursing home resident can expect 2.6 falls per year. Of these falls, 35 percent occur to people who are unable to walk. These falls can cause very serious injuries to nursing home residents. Between 10 and 20 percent of these falls will cause serious injuries including fractures. Each year around 1,800 people are killed as a result of a nursing home fall. These incidents also lead to reduction in quality of life, increase in depression and other serious effects.
These statistics can be alarming for family members. People want to know that a loved one is safe in a nursing home. When nursing home negligence causes dangerous falls and other nursing home injury, people may not understand their legal recourse. However, residents in Pennsylvania should know that action can be taken when a loved one is hurt in a nursing home. An experienced attorney may be able to help to explain their legal rights and whether or not action can be taken.