A group of researchers recently completed a study of older hip fracture patients over a period of three years to determine the correlation between winter weather and falls. While many people assume that broken bones and admissions to nursing homes as a result of falling are often attributable to bad weather, the results of this study did not necessarily reach the same conclusion.
This study, completed by researchers of the North American Partners in Anesthesiology at the Hospital of Central Connecticut, examined more than 540 older hip fracture patients from 2013 and 2016. Surprisingly, the ice, snow, and general wintry weather conditions that appear often in the state of Wisconsin during the winter months, did not appear to be a significant factor in most of the falls that led to hip fractures. Rather, the majority of these falls (55%) occurred during the warmer months; the months of May, September, and October, saw the highest number of falls, or about 30% of the total number of falls. Even more surprisingly, 75% of the falls that led to fractures happened inside, not outdoors. Plus, most outdoor falls (60%) also occurred in the warmer months between May and October.
Furthermore, while researchers expected many falls to be attributable to icy and snowy sidewalks and roads, this simply wasn’t the case. Although you might think that ice and snow are a major factor in falls leading to hip fractures, these weather conditions had very little impact on the falls observed in the study. Rather, the main cause of falls seems to be tripping over obstacles, with rugs being one of the most common obstacles. As a result, the researchers concluded, any efforts to reduce falls in elderly Americans should not focus on outdoor safety; instead, efforts should focus on fall hazards, such as uneven flooring, rugs, and similar objects.
There are many different types of abuse or neglect that can occur to residents in nursing home or residential care facilities. The Wisconsin elder abuse lawyers of Boller & Vaughan have handled countless claims on behalf of nursing home residents who have suffered serious injuries and even death due to the negligent behavior of nursing home staff and facilities, regardless of the type of abuse or neglect involved. When a serious injury or death of a loved one occurs, we know just how devastating it can be, and how powerless you are likely to feel as a result. Allow your family to begin the healing process from this traumatic event by holding the wrongdoers responsible for your loved one’s injuries. Contact our office today and set up a free consultation with one of our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys.