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Helping Your Family Member Adjust to Nursing Home Living-Tip #24

Many falls can be avoided if nursing homes take responsible measures to prevent accidents and injuries, as previously discussed.  Because nursing home falls are so common, avoiding falls should be one of the primary concerns and focus of these facilities. One fall may produce a series of consequences which could have life long altering effects of the injured resident.  As an example, falls may result in the following complications: head injuries, such as a hematoma or a brain bleed; fractures, such as a hip fracture; confinement to a wheelchair and/or bed, loss of mobility or paralysis  with the added risk of developing pneumonia or pressure sores; surgical interventions with further potential of developing infection; long-term disability;  extreme suffering and pain; death; and expensive medical care and treatment. Many nursing home falls could be avoided with proper care and supervision.  Nursing homes must ensure that each resident receives adequate supervision and assistive devices to prevent accidents and injuries, ensure that safety interventions and assistive devices are in place and operational at all times and ensure that the resident environment remains as free of accident hazards as is possible.