There are many causes of slip and falls in nursing homes, which is a major cause for concern. These include wet floors, poorly lit areas, loose carpets or mats, and improper walkers and wheelchairs on slick surfaces. Nursing home staff may also not have enough time to observe their patients or keep up with their care needs due to a higher-than-average patient load. Certain physical conditions can also lead to falls, such as arthritis and weak leg muscles. The following information provides some of the most common causes of a nursing home slip and fall accident, so you can be vigilant about preventing them from happening to your loved ones.
Wet Flooring Surfaces
Slip and fall accidents are more common on wet surfaces. If nursing homes have to cut back on their cleaning staff, the floors may not be kept clean enough for residents with visual impairment or those who use a cane or walker. Because of a lack of traction, especially if carpeting has been removed from an area such as a doorway, it might result in falls. If nursing homes have to cut back on expenses, they might remove mats to make the flooring even less safe for walking or wheelchairs.
Lighting and Blind Spots
Nursing homes need to have proper lighting, especially in the hallways and areas where residents are likely to walk. Poorly lit nursing home facilities may lead to falls because of poor visibility around corners or obstructions that block a clear view from one end of the hallway to another.
Cataracts can also make it difficult for nursing homes residents to see, putting them at risk of falling if they are not properly guided around the nursing home.
Not Maintaining Stairs and Ramps
Nursing homes must make sure that nursing home stairs and ramps are well maintained. They should be kept clean from debris or leaves, the railing should have no missing parts, and it shouldn’t wobble when residents lean against them for support. Nursing homes also need to ensure there is a clear path of sight down stairwells. This ensures that nursing home residents do not fall, injuring themselves or others.
Uneven Surfaces and Obstructions
Slip, and falls are more likely to happen if nursing homes have poor housekeeping. This is in the form of clutter around nursing home care areas or nursing stations. Nursing homes should also make sure nursing home hallways and walkways are kept free from obstructions such as wheelchairs or carts. These items block the nursing home residents’ view of oncoming traffic, leaving them vulnerable to slip and falls if they don’t have enough time to move out of the way.
Lack of Grab Bars in Bathrooms, Showers, and Near Toilets
According to nursing home safety regulations, nursing homes must have grab bars in areas such as bathrooms and showers. These are designed for individuals who require assistance getting out of or into the shower. Nursing homes may not necessarily remove these items because they are costly. However, if nursing homes have financial difficulties, they may not properly maintain nursing home grab bars, leading to more nursing home falls. Finally, nursing homes must have nursing home staff members who can properly assist nursing home residents in maintaining their safety. These individuals should guide nursing home patients around the facility, monitoring for slip and fall hazards such as wet flooring or obstructions.