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Reducing Nursing Home Injuries: New Study Shows Impact-Absorbent Floors May Help

May 12, 2015 | Category: Nursing Home Neglect/Abuse | Share

Making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home facility is often a difficult choice. Ft. Myers personal injury attorney Randall Spivey knows it is natural for family members and friends to be consumed by the task of selecting the right facility, particularly since area facilities offer different amenities and levels of care. Those seeking appropriate facilities are also concerned about how their loved one will be cared for, as well as his or her overall safety while there.

The issue of nursing home safety has been researched and studied for years. One of the most recent studies was done by a group of Swedish researchers who, according to Injury Prevention, looked closely at the issue of nursing home falls and preventing serious injuries from such incidents.

The Stats on Nursing Home Falls

According to a report done by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, falls in nursing homes happen approximately three times more for those in such facilities than those who live out in the community, with some of the latest statistics showing that, per bed, 1.7 falls occur each year. And the injuries incurred from such falls are quite serious, with between 10 and 25 percent of the falls leading to lacerations, fractures or even a need for hospital care.

Is There a Way to Prevent Nursing Home Falls?

If proper care and precaution is taken, nursing home falls and serious injuries can be prevented in most instances, and the Swedish researchers conducting the aforementioned study found that one change in particular might help the situation: impact-absorbent flooring.

The study looked at one nursing home that had installed the flooring and focused on the occurrence of falls in areas with the floors and those without. The researchers found that during the study period, which lasted from October 1, 2011 through March 31, 2014, a little over 250 falls took place on regular floors, while only 77 falls occurred in the areas with impact-absorbent floors. After the researchers took into account other outlying factors, they determined that the impact-absorbent floors reduced injury rates by almost 60 percent.

While the researchers’ findings are encouraging, this is not to say that the installation of such flooring will absolutely prevent nursing home falls from ever occurring; however, based on the study, the impact-absorbent floors may, in fact, help reduce the potential for serious injuries.

Keep an Eye on Your Loved One

Installing new flooring is an interesting concept; however, family members and friends are encouraged to always remain vigilant with respect to observing the overall care of their loved one. The bigger issue of why the falls happen in the first place needs to be addressed, and in many instances, the reasons for occurrence stem from lack of proper care and supervision.

Those working in nursing homes have agreed to care for the individuals entrusted to them, and if they fail to do so properly, they may be held legally responsible for any injury-causing incidents that may occur.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home facility and you have questions or concerns about his or her care, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. to discuss your options.

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