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Age is not all that increases fall risks for the elderly

Falls are problematic for the elderly in any situation, contributing to a high amount of injuries and even fatalities every year. This is true both within nursing homes and in other settings. Experts note that the risk naturally rises with issues that stem from normal aging, such as problems with an elderly person's gait or muscle weakness.

However, it's crucial to remember that aging alone does not cause all nursing home falls. Many other factors can contribute, perhaps showing that the nursing home staff was negligent in caring for an elderly patient. After all, they know that the fall risk is high, they know the dangers, and they must provide proper care and a safe living space.

Even so, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that almost 75 percent of these residents fall every single year. It's a startling statistic and paints a very bleak picture.

Some falls can be traced back to serious issues within the nursing homes. These could be temporary issues, like wet floors from a spill or a broken pipe. They could be long-lasting issues, like problematic flooring changes and poor lighting. There could even be equipment issues, like wheelchairs that have not been fitted properly and beds that have not been set at the correct height.

You already know that your loved one faces a high risk from falls. If he or she sees that risk rise even higher due to nursing home negligence or even direct abuse, and an incident does occur, you need to know your rights to financial compensation. This may help with medical treatment costs, which can last for the rest of a person's life after a serious fall.

Source: FIndLaw, "3 Common Nursing Home Injuries," Le Trinh, accessed Feb. 21, 2017

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