Every year across the United States, millions of individuals aged 65 and older fall. More than one in four of those individuals fall each year, but many fail to report their falls to their doctor. While a fall might not seem like a very big deal, it can result in both serious and costly injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every five falls results in a serious injury, such as a broken bone, and emergency rooms end up treating more than 2.8 million older individuals for fall-related injuries each year, with about 800,000 of those individuals being hospitalized.
The most common types of injuries that older Americans sustain from falls are hip fractures and head injuries, by far. In fact, at least 300,000 older individuals are admitted to hospitals each year after suffering hip fractures. The direct medical costs of all of these fall-related injuries amount to $31 billion each year. Two-thirds of these costs are from hospital care costs.
Some falls simply are not preventable, but other falls are definitely preventable, simply by addressing some of the major risk factors. Nursing homes and other healthcare facilities should encourage residents to keep active, work on walking and balancing activities, and avoid becoming weaker, which can lead to more falls. Similarly, facilities should provide wide, unobstructed hallways with handrails, which also can help prevent falls. Finally, ensuring that all residents have proper footwear and glasses to help with vision can go a long way toward preventing falls.
At Boller & Vaughan, we know firsthand just how dangerous falls can be, particularly with respect to the most vulnerable patients who are frail and residing in healthcare facilities. If your family member has suffered neglect that has led to injuries from a fall, we are here to protect your rights and represent your interests, no matter what issues the case may involve. Our law firm has the experience that you need in a case such as this, so that you can explore all of the options that are available to you, and decide what legal avenue to pursue. Call the Wisconsin nursing home neglect attorneys today at (608) 268-0268 and schedule a free appointment.