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Falls Are the Leading Cause of Fatal Injury Among Older Americans

Leaving a loved one in the care of a Mississippi nursing home or assisted living facility is rarely easy. However, it can prove less emotionally taxing if you have complete faith that the facility and its staff members do everything they can to protect residents from harm. Unfortunately, however, this is not always the case, and many American nursing homes have issues relating to understaffing, insufficient training and so on. Additionally, many nursing homes drop the ball when it comes to protecting residents from falls, which are one of the biggest health and wellness-related issues commonly experienced by today’s seniors.

According to the National Council on Aging, falls have become so prevalent among Americans ages 65 and over that they are now the single most common cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries and hospital admissions among people within this age group. Additionally, falls by older Americans lead to more than 800,000 hospitalizations, more than 2.8 million injuries and more than 27,000 deaths every year.

Why older Americans are prone to falling

Why is it that older Americans are at such a high risk of falling? For starters, many older people decrease their levels of physical activity as they age, but doing so can lead to weaker muscles and diminished flexibility, which can enhance fall risks. Furthermore, many older people experience a decline in vision as they age, which can make it harder for them to spot possible obstructions such as wet floors, cluttered stairs, loose wires and so on.

The role of the nursing home

Nursing home staff members have an ethical and professional duty to reduce fall risks for residents, and it is especially important that they do so for those experiencing diminished mobility as they grow older. In addition to helping when seniors need to make bathroom trips, climb stairs and otherwise get around, nursing home executives should implement fall prevention programs and otherwise train their staff members to mitigate fall risks.

If you have concerns about your loved one falling in a nursing home or assisted living facility, do not hesitate to ask facility staff about what efforts they make to prevent resident falls.