There are various strategies that nursing homes and other long-term care facilities can use in order to decrease the potential for falls and increase safety. First, if your loved one is at a heightened risk of falling, you should ensure that the nursing home is aware of this potential and classifies the individual accordingly. By designating certain residents as being at a high risk for falling, whether it is due to poor vision, cardiovascular disease, weakness, or a history of falls, a nursing home can take extra precautions to prevent falls for these individuals by including them in their care plans.
Those with a significant history of falls should reside in rooms as close to the nursing station as possible. Staff members also should take the time to teach residents the safest transfer techniques from beds, chairs, toilets, and wheelchairs. Residents should learn to move positions slowly while always holding onto a stable object and utilizing handrails. Furthermore, residents should learn about proper usage of the nurse call system, including when it is appropriate and how to work it. If staff members must lift a resident, they should use multiple staff members as a safety precaution, even when using a belt to lift the resident. Showers are another common source of falls. Residents should be supervised in the shower to the extent necessary, use shower chairs, and use the belts or straps provided on the shower chairs.
Regular exercise also can help improve the fitness, balance, and stability of residents. Nursing home staff should evaluate residents for physical therapy, restorative programs, and equipment that adapts to the needs of the resident. Residents should not take unnecessary medications, and staff should curtail the usage of sedatives and tranquilizers as much as possible.
Finally, keeping the residents’ immediate environments as clean, well-lit, and clutter-free as possible goes a long way toward preventing any hazards over which a resident can trip and fall. Also, ensuring that residents wear appropriate shoes and clothing that does not drag on the floor also can help prevent falls.
We are the Wisconsin nursing home neglect lawyers whom you can turn to if you suspect or become aware of staff members’ neglect of your loved one while residing in an nursing home. Regardless of the complexity or difficulty of your situation, the Madison injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are prepared to advocate on behalf of your loved one and hold nursing home or other long-term care facilities responsible for any abuse that has occurred.