Helping You Find And Use Your Voice To Seek Justice
  1. Home
  2.  | 
  3. Nursing Home Neglect And Abuse
  4.  | What happens when nursing homes don’t do fall assessments

What happens when nursing homes don’t do fall assessments

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | Nursing Home Neglect And Abuse

There are many ways for nursing homes to protect vulnerable residents from potentially debilitating falls. Having enough employees on hand to provide support is quite important. So is designing living spaces so that they are accessible. Responding as quickly as possible to a resident’s needs when they ask for support can also help prevent scenarios in which someone gets hurt because they fall.

However, one of the simplest ways to reduce individual fall risk for residents entails evaluating each of them for their likelihood of falling and getting hurt. Conducting a fall risk assessment is a multi-stage process that nursing homes generally perform when someone initially moves into the facility and then again regularly during their tenancy there.

What happens when nursing homes fail to conduct fall risk assessments?

Residents don’t receive proper support

While the best-case scenario would likely entail nursing home residents having consistent access to around-the-clock support on demand, the reality is that facilities must balance the need for support with cost efficiency. Therefore, residents frequently wait for help when they need assistance getting dressed or going to the bathroom. When workers are aware of who has the most risk of falling and sustaining an injury, they can prioritize assisting those residents in a more timely fashion.

Additionally, they can provide therapeutic assistance to help people reduce their fall risk and assistive technology like walkers to help them maintain a degree of independence. When the facility does not conduct a proper assessment and has not identified the parties with the most risk, it is much more difficult to properly allocate resources.

Someone who is at high risk of a fall might go without support for long enough that they become frustrated and try to manage personal matters on their own. They might then end up falling and incurring significant injuries while living in a nursing home where they should have appropriate support.

Older adults who fall can break bones. A broken bone isn’t just a minor injury for someone in their golden years. They might end up in the hospital and may never fully heal from the injury. They may develop chronic pain and have persistent functional limitations. In some cases, the injuries that they suffer affect not just their quality of life but also their longevity.

Holding a facility accountable for negligent practices, such as failing to conduct fall assessments on residents, can help cover the expenses generated by a preventable injury and prompt a facility to change its practices.