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One in Five Emergency Room Visits for Nursing Home Residents Caused by Potential Abuse or Neglect

Half of All Residents Fall Once a Year

Elderly woman fell on the floor

Recent disturbing statistics reveal high levels of potential abuse and neglect in nursing homes, particularly around falls. Nearly 1 in 5 high-risk emergency room visits for nursing home residents were caused by potential abuse and neglect, according to the Office of the General Inspector of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The federal report released last month examined Medicare claims from these skilled nursing facilities.  Just as troubling, the agency said that these elderly residents are usually sent back to the same facilities, putting them at more risk for injury.

Many of these emergency room visits can involve injuries from falls at nursing homes, resulting in broken bones in wrists, arms, ankles, or hips.

“Because of their weakness and degree of frailty, nursing home residents fall with alarming regularity,” said John Dalli, a partner in the law firm Dalli & Marino, LLP.

“And once they fall, they fear falling again, fostering a loss of independence.”

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, there are about 1.6 million nursing home residents in the U.S. – and about half of these older adults fall each year.  These falls can also cause serious injuries or even death.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among adults 65+.

Falls in nursing homes happen for many reasons:

  • Medication-caused dizziness.
  • Environmental hazards, such as bad lighting or flooring
  • Medical conditions and chronic disease

But the most common cause of these falls, according to Dalli, is inadequate staffing in nursing homes and failure of the staff to monitor the residents.

“If you suspect neglect or abuse triggered a fall, ask for an x-ray for your loved one,” said Dalli.  “You should also discuss the situation with the administrators of the nursing home facility.  You may also want to contact an attorney to ensure your loved one’s rights are being fully protected at the facility.”

Contact Dalli & Marino LLP

Dalli & Marino, LLP has been providing top-tier representation, and we have recovered millions of dollars, for families in cases of nursing home and other skilled care/elder care facility neglect and results of understaffing, in Suffolk and Nassau Counties (Long Island), Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Westchester County, since 1995.

Please contact our team to discuss your case, or with any questions, at 1-888-465-8790 [Toll-Free], or by completing the CASE EVALUATION Form on our Contact Page.

Sources

NPR on the Dept. of Health and Human Services, Office of the General Inspector Report:
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/06/12/731820729/reports-find-health-workers-still-arent-alerting-police-regarding-likely-elder-a

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality:
https://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/long-term-care/resources/injuries/fallspx/fallspxman1.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6718a1.htm