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Nursing Home Falls in Chicago, IL

chicago nursing home falls lawyer

This might seem obvious, but a nursing home resident is at a much higher risk of falling than the average senior citizen. Many nursing home residents have memory problems, such as dementia. They might also have trouble moving around if they can do so on their own. Additionally, some residents are completely immobile but still feel the need to get around without extra help. Even in nursing homes with a very high level of care, nursing home abuse and falls can still happen. In these cases, you need a Chicago nursing home falls lawyer. Abuse is not restricted to just physical abuse. Other forms of nursing home abuse and neglect exist, which we cover below.

Nursing home abuse doesn’t just involve sexual abuse, medication errors, and accidents due to negligence. Nursing home neglect can also surface in the form of falls due to poor supervision, hazards, or dropping a patient. If you suspect nursing home abuse has injured or killed your loved one, you need the nursing home abuse lawyers at Curcio Law Offices. We prioritize compassion and dedication for each and every attorney-client relationship. To schedule a free case evaluation on behalf of your injured family member, call 312-321-1111 today.

Dedicated Representation for Those Injured or Killed in a Fall

Unfortunately, falls are a risk for every nursing home setting, even those that offer very high levels of care. When nursing home staff members fail to uphold a certain standard of care, this risk increases exponentially. In an assisted living facility that regularly provides substandard care, the risk increases yet again. Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious subject. That’s why we at Curcio Law Offices fight on behalf of residents and their families.

If elderly residents suffer from a fall or from elder abuse in a nursing home facility, they may have a case. Family members of nursing home patients can file a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their loved ones. It’s important to speak with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to ensure that you obtain just compensation from responsible parties.

What Can a Chicago Nursing Home Falls Attorney Do for You?

A nursing home neglect lawyer can offer a free consultation about your situation to determine whether or not you have a valid case. Scheduling a free consultation means that you don’t pay legal fees to our legal team unless we secure a recovery for you. In other words, our law firm won’t burden you with more bills to pay during a time when you’re already paying for medical care for your loved one. 

At Curcio Law Offices, we represent nursing home residents who have faced elder abuse and neglect at their nursing home facility. Illinois nursing home residents and their family members deserve a law firm that truly cares about the outcome of their case. 

Our law firm will fight to ensure that your loved one receives the proper care they deserve. In the event that they suffer nursing home abuse or neglect, we pursue compensation. We start by establishing liability in your nursing home abuse case. Once this is established, we attempt to recover compensation for the following injury-related losses.

  • Current and future medical care costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Current and future physical therapy costs
  • Disability
  • Other expenses related to the physical injuries
  • Changes in quality of life

If your loved one died as a result of their fall, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf as a family member. Generally, you can sue the nursing home facility for elder abuse and neglect. Schedule a free consultation with us to determine whether or not you have a personal injury case.

Nursing Home Falls Injury and Death Statistics

chicago nursing home falls attorneys

It’s important to understand how likely a fall is in nursing homes. Below, we list some notable statistics to remember.

  • Approximately 1,800 elderly residents die every year from serious injuries from falls. Most survivors suffer a decrease in their quality of life, and they may even develop a disability from it.
  • Over 1.4 million elders live in nursing home facilities in the United States. However, deaths related to nursing home falls make up 20% of all deaths in that age group.
  • According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, an older adult dies from a fall every 20 minutes in the United States. 
  • Around 10-20% of these falls result in a serious injury, such as a fracture.
  • Between 50-75% of residents in nursing facilities fall every year. 

Falls are very common but also very detrimental to residents of nursing home facilities. They can have many negative consequences, including functional decline, reduced quality of life, and even disability. It might seem like falls are accidents that nobody can prevent or foresee. However, nursing facilities have a certain duty of care that includes recognizing fall risks and maintaining a safe environment for residents. When they fail to uphold this standard, they increase fall risks and put themselves at risk of a personal injury or wrongful death suit.

What Are the Consequences of Falls in Nursing Homes?

Falls are very common, with an average rate of 2.6 falls per year per resident. However, this does not make them any less serious. Even if the resident did not die from the fall, they probably suffered injuries of some sort. Falls also have many other long-term consequences, including fractures, traumatic brain injuries, disability, and a decline in mobility. These negative consequences have the potential to impact the physical, mental, and emotional health of nursing home residents. 

If a resident sees a serious decline in mobility after a fall, the strength of their bodies will decline even further. This is because they won’t be able to exercise their muscles by walking around. Additionally, less mobile residents are then at a higher risk of developing bedsores. Bedsores are another serious problem in assisted living facilities. 

Common fall-related injuries include the following.

  • Hematoma (brain bleeding)
  • Hip fractures
  • Femur fractures
  • Life-threatening injuries
  • Other types of fractures
  • Death

What Causes Falls in Nursing Homes?

chicago nursing home falls

There is generally more than one cause that leads to falls in nursing home abuse cases. As always, it’s important to take a resident’s current health into consideration. Many nursing facility residents experience gait problems and muscle weakness, which could lead to falls.

In other cases, residents might fall while trying to get out of bed or a wheelchair. Lastly, certain medications are known to cause disorientation, which can result in a fall. However, it’s important to remember that falls don’t just result from balance problems and health issues.

Many falls that occur in a skilled nursing facility are the fault of the facility itself. Sometimes, the facility itself or the nursing home staff members can cause a fall. There are a number of different conditions and hazards that cause falls.

In some cases, the design of the nursing homes themselves could cause a problem. With narrow hallways, low lighting, and excessive bed heights comes an increased fall risk. Even temporary problems like slick floors pose a risk to residents.

Nursing home employees have a duty to provide adequate supervision for all residents in assisted living facilities. Poor supervision is a common cause of abuse or neglect in nursing homes. Unfortunately, many Illinois nursing homes are understaffed in an attempt to save money.

When nursing home neglect happens due to a lack of proper care, the Nursing Home Care Act has protections for Illinois nursing home residents. The Act intends to both protect patients from abuse and neglect and outline certain privacy and security rights. If you suspect abuse against your loved ones or other residents, call our trusted Chicago law firm today.

Why Are Falls More Common in Nursing Homes?

There are a number of reasons why falls are more common in nursing homes compared to other communities. The first reason is that falls are often a sign of other health problems. Generally, nursing home patients have more health problems than older adults in community settings. 

Residents at a Chicago nursing home are likely to be frail, older than those in community settings, and have more difficulty with mobility. In general, they are also more likely to have memory problems. These factors can be compounded by nursing home negligence. Below, we list some of the most common causes of Illinois nursing home falls. 

  • Weak muscles and walking problems cause approximately 24% of all falls in nursing homes.
  • Environmental hazards cause around 16-27% of all falls. Examples include equipment that has been left in the hallways of the facility and other barriers.
  • Other hazards such as poor lighting, slick floors, beds that are too high, bad wheelchairs, and more.
  • Medication errors and hazards. If a patient takes the wrong medication, or if their medication causes dizziness, this can increase fall risks. 
  • Other causes include trying to get from a wheelchair to a bed or vice versa, badly fitting shoes, poor foot care, and improperly using walkers or canes.

How Should a Long-Term Care Facility Care for Fall Risk Patients?

When residents develop a fear of falling, that fear can lead to depression, anxiety, restricting one’s own mobility, and distancing themselves from activities they once enjoyed. That’s why it’s crucial for nursing homes to implement a fall prevention system. Illinois nursing home staff must provide a safe overall environment that reduces fall risks. Some strategies include the following.

Environmental factors contribute greatly to Illinois nursing home abuse in the form of falls. To assess nursing home safety, employees can conduct an environmental audit. This audit will reveal all potential problems and risks so they can be mitigated. Examples of hazards include loose or upturned carpet, slick floors, and dim lighting.

Solutions to these problems include improving lighting, using non-slip rugs, fixing loose carpets, and rearranging furniture for more space. There are a multitude of other ways to reduce fall risks in Chicago nursing homes. It is up to the nursing home and its staff to implement these solutions. 

Upon first entering a nursing home, residents should assess their current and past health problems and needs. This assessment will tell the staff what they need to know about the patient’s health and past history of falling if they have one. It will also reveal mobility, vision, or balance issues.

In understanding the individual needs of each patient, staff members can identify any potential health risks and either eliminate them or reduce their danger. If you suspect that elder abuse and neglect happened to your loved one, call the nursing home abuse lawyers at Curcio Law Offices today.

It is crucial to educate nursing home staff on how to provide adequate care and how to maintain a safe environment. Staff must be able to recognize when residents are about to fall. When they are able to recognize the dangers around them, staff members can help reduce the likelihood or severity of a fall. They can also introduce certain programs to residents to help improve their mobility, such as yoga classes.

Certain “solutions” to fall risks were popular at one time but are no longer effective or recommended. One example is the use of physical and chemical restraints. Restraints can cause stress in nursing home residents, which can lead to injury. Additionally, fall alarms on chairs and bedding can help alert staff when a resident falls. However, they do not prevent the fall itself from happening.

Another previously-favored solution is the use of bed rails. These rails intend to prevent residents from rolling off their beds. However, dementia patients could get their heads stuck in that railing, resulting in suffocation. Lastly, some residents may try to get out of bed with the railing up, which increases fall risks. 

Why Are Falls a Type of Nursing Home Abuse?

chicago nursing home falls attorney

Nursing home abuse is a broad term that encompasses a number of different forms of abuse and neglect. Examples include physical abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, psychological abuse, and other types of nursing home negligence.

It may seem strange that “accidental” falls are under the same umbrella as sexual abuse or physical abuse. However, falls can still be a form of elder abuse. This is because Chicago nursing home falls often happen due to a lack of supervision and a lack of proper safety measures.

A bad fall can result in patients becoming bedridden, which can result in declining health. Understaffing and a lack of proper infrastructure are telltale signs that nursing home abuse might be occurring at the facility.

How to Prevent Nursing Home Falls

chicago nursing home falls lawyers

Certain interventions and solutions are necessary to keep residents safe and avoid a nursing home abuse lawsuit. Below, we list strategies that any Chicago nursing home could implement to reduce fall risks and injury.

  • A healthy, balanced diet to reduce overall weakness
  • Balance and strength training to improve the gait
  • Physical therapy
  • Changes to the environment
  • Tai chi
  • Stopping or decreasing the use of sedatives, anti-depressants, and other medications that cause disorientation
  • Eliminating vitamin D deficiencies
  • Minimizing the number of medications for patients to prevent dizziness or disorientation
  • Correcting vision and hearing problems
  • Treating arrhythmia
  • Providing properly-fitted footwear and foot care

Chicago Nursing Home Falls FAQs

Many falls happen in the halls and rooms of a nursing home. Environmental hazards and muscle weakness account for most Chicago nursing home falls. Falls can happen virtually anywhere in a nursing home, including hallways, stairways, and even bedrooms. That’s why it’s important to address hazards in all areas of the facility. Common risk factors include the following.

  • Uneven flooring
  • Unstable or wobbly furniture
  • Areas with low lighting
  • Wet floors
  • Wheelchairs with non-functioning brakes
  • Areas of clutter
  • Wheeled beds that are unstable
  • Poor footwear

A lack of attendance from the staff could also result in a fall in an outdoor space, in common areas, in bathrooms, and in residential areas.

Yes, it is possible for a patient to die during or after a fall. Catastrophic injuries can happen from even a minor fall. When a resident suffers an injury from a fall, their health could decline rapidly. This is especially true after certain injuries such as broken hips, traumatic brain injuries, and concussions. 

If residents survive a fall, they still face potential health issues during their recovery period. Examples of these issues include sepsis, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and staph infections. Any one of these conditions could result in death.

Nursing home staff should receive training about what to do in the event of a fall. They should first check the patient’s vitals to assess the severity of the fall. If a resident becomes unconscious or if they stop breathing, staff should call 911 and perform CPR.

In most cases, it is recommended to refrain from moving or lifting the resident. Emergency medical technicians should handle this part rather than the nursing home staff. However, nursing home staff can still check the patient for visible injuries.

Lastly, staff members should not move the resident’s neck or head after a fall. Medical technicians will properly secure and transport the injured resident. Proper transportation is necessary to prevent further damage to the neck, head, and spine.

This depends on many factors, including the existing conditions of the resident and the severity of the fall. It is normal for a resident to undergo weeks or even months of rehabilitation after a fall. The recovery portion usually includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, and the addition of more adaptive equipment.

Patients with memory or cognitive issues may need ongoing supervision. This is especially true if they experience postoperative delirium, which worsens certain cognitive deficits. Examples of conditions that can worsen after surgery include Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other cognitive impairments.

The good news for Chicago nursing home residents and their families is that you can sue a nursing home for abuse and neglect. According to 42 U.S. Code Chapter 7, nursing homes must maintain certain safety standards and standards of care. Strictly adhering to these requirements protects both the residents and the facility itself. 

If a nursing home staffer engages in physical abuse, emotional abuse, or other types of abuse, they could be held liable for those actions. Additionally, the nursing home itself could be liable for the abuse or neglect of its residents. If you suspect nursing home abuse, neglect, or negligence, call Curcio Law Offices for a free case evaluation. 

Did Your Loved One Suffer Injuries in a Nursing Home Fall? You Might Have a Case

After a loved one suffers a fall or other form of nursing home abuse, it’s important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. With the help of a qualified nursing home abuse lawyer, you can ensure that your loved one gets the compensation they deserve for their suffering. 

One of the main reasons for elderly adults to be in nursing homes is to give them constant care and attention as they age. When the facility or staff fails to provide proper care or medical treatment, it’s time to hire a lawyer. You might have a case. 

Call Curcio Law Offices Today

If you’re worried that your loved one suffered abuse at their long-term care facility, you need a nursing home abuse lawyer for your case. Victims of Chicago nursing home abuse or neglect can hold the responsible parties accountable and demand fair compensation. We handle cases from all over the state of Illinois, including in Cook County, Lake County, and many other areas. 

To determine whether or not you have a case, contact a nursing home abuse attorney with Curcio Law Offices. Call 312-321-1111 to schedule your free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you provide to us will be kept confidential. We will help you throughout the entire process, including gathering medical records, gathering other information, and litigating your case in court. That way, you can focus on either caring for your loved ones or grieving for their loss of them.