When seniors fall, they often suffer significant injuries. Head injuries in nursing homes are among the most common types of falling injuries they suffer, which can result in a condition that will require a long time to heal properly. Sometimes, the senior does not recover fully, resulting in a loss of quality of life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of four people aged 65 and older suffer a fall every year. One out of five of those falls, involving roughly about 800,000 people annually, results in a significant injury, such as a head injury or a broken bone.
Because of the frequency of falls for older people, it is important for nursing home staff to take every possible precaution to prevent falls.
Danger of Head Injuries
After a fall at the nursing home, staff members need to be on the watch for potential signs of a head injury. Some seniors may show outward signs after a fall, such as cuts on the face, a black eye, or an injury to the mouth or teeth.
Other times, though, the damage from the head injury may not be easily visible. Some of these types of head injuries include:
- Concussion: The brain suffers a mild injury after a jolt or fall, but the injury will clear up on its own after a few days to a few weeks, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
- Traumatic brain injury: The brain suffers significant damage, some of which may be long term or permanent, including bruising and bleeding in the brain tissues, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Signs of Brain Injuries
Sometimes, it can be difficult for the staff at the nursing home to recognize the signs of a brain injury in a resident, especially when someone already has some cognitive issues, such as dementia.
However, it is important for staff to understand the behavior of the residents extremely well, so the staff members can tell when something changes, even if it is a slight change.
Some of the physical signs or changes in behavior that indicate someone has suffered a potential brain injury after a fall include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Sleeping longer than usual
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty focusing the eyes
- Loss of balance
- Memory problems
- Mood swings
- Depression or sadness
Negligent Behavior from Staff
If nursing home staff members fail to take the proper precautions to prevent a slip and fall injury, this could be considered an act of negligence on their part. If nursing home staff treat your loved one in a negligent manner, this means the nursing home resident and his or her loved ones have the right to seek compensation.
It is also important for staff members to treat the victim properly after he or she suffers a head injury. Residents should be allowed to rest and ease back into daily activities slowly. If staff members fail to do so, it could result in a lengthier injury or in a failure to heal, which could be considered negligence.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-712-9119
Preventing Head Injuries
To reduce the possibility of head injuries in the nursing home, it is important for staff members to take every possible precaution to prevent falls. If the nursing home does not take certain steps, a fall at the nursing home becomes a greater possibility. Some of the precautions the nursing home staff could take include:
- Eliminating tripping hazards: These could include loose rugs, electrical cords, and stray items in common walkways throughout the facility.
- Non-slip mats: Non-slip mats could be added to bath and shower areas.
- Installing handrails: A handrail in a hallway can give the nursing home resident the ability to grab the rail if they stumble or suddenly feel dizzy while walking.
- Improving lighting: Increased amounts of lighting in areas of the nursing home that do not have much natural daylight allows residents to see tripping hazards.
Working to Protect the Rights of Injured Seniors
If your loved one suffers an injury after a fall, including head injuries in nursing homes, you may want to consider bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the facility. If you can show those working at the nursing home were responsible for the injuries because of negligent behavior, you might be able to win a judgment.
The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, is ready to defend the right of your loved one to receive compensation for medical bills, pain, and suffering. We know how frightening this type of injury can be, and we are ready to work hard on your behalf.
We do not shy away from tough cases. We will study the facts of your case to help ensure your loved one receives the fairest possible settlement from the insurance company representing the nursing home. Contact us for a free review of your case at 800-959-1444.