Nursing Homes No Longer Using Fall Alarms

According to an NBC news report, a Madison nursing home is one of several nursing homes across the nation that are phasing out bed and chair fall alarms and other traditional fall prevention devices, such as fall mats and lower beds, in favor of more attentive care by staff members. Advocates of the move anticipate that the phase-out of these devices will occur over the next few years.

Some have experienced dismay at the movement away from these devices, fearing that falls in nursing homes will increase. However, some studies show that alarms are not effective in preventing falls. On the contrary, researchers content, fall alarms may actually increase the incidence of falls, in that they may startle nursing home residents, create uneven floor surfaces, and cause staff members to overly rely on them. An increased focus on personal patient care and less reliance on these devices hopefully will cause nursing home staff members to learn residents’ routines and try to accommodate their needs, before a fall even occurs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 1,800 older Americans die in nursing homes each year as a result of injuries sustained in a fall. This figure does not even include those older Americans who are simply injured each year due to falls.

All too often, nursing home staff members fail to properly monitor residents, which can result in falls causing injuries and even death in some cases. While fall alarms and other devices are well-intentioned, they should not be used as a means to neglect the needs of nursing home residents. At Boller & Vaughan, we focus on protecting the rights of those who have suffered neglectful or abusive actions at the hands of nursing home facilities. We have the skills and knowledge to delve into the facts of your case, consider all available options, and advocate on your behalf by bringing any legal claims that you may have against the nursing home in question, or its staff members. Call your Wisconsin nursing home neglect attorneys at (608) 268-0268 and schedule your free consultation today.