Ohio Nursing Home Falls

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is twice as likely for nursing home residents to experience a fall than it is for elderly individuals living at home. Nursing home residents are guaranteed certain rights nursing homes must provide. This includes the right to care and safety that is appropriate for each resident’s needs. This requires that nursing home facilities asses each resident’s likelihood for nursing home falls and put together an appropriate care plan to prevent nursing home falls in high-risk patients.

If you believe that your loved one was negligently injured as a result of a nursing home fall, first call the Ohio State nursing home abuse and neglect hotline number to report your concerns Ohio Department of Health Complaint Unit at 1-800-669-3534. Next, contact our experienced nursing home fall lawyers for a free consulatation. We will discuss your legal rights and may be able to fight for a settlement on your behalf through legal proceedings. If your loved one was injured or killed because of a nursing home fall that could have been prevented, you have legal options. Contact the trusted team of nursing home fall attorneys at The O’Keefe Firm for a free consultation to learn more.

Ohio has the seventh-largest older adult population in the nation. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and negligence reports are on the rise throughout the United States, including in Ohio. Statistics show that Ohio’s nursing home performance ratings are among the lowest in the country, in terms of the quality of care they provide to their residents. In fact, in 2017 approximately 41% of nursing homes and long-term care facilities in Ohio earned a “below average” rating on the federal Nursing Home Compare website, as opposed to 35% nationally.

Over the past three years in the state of Ohio, at least 31 nursing home deaths were attributed to issues of negligent care provided by nursing home staff. Sadly, this statistic may be even higher because it depends upon honest and accurate reporting by the nursing care facilities themselves.

Ohio’s alarmingly high nursing home negligence and abuse statistics may be attributed to some or all of the following:

Ohio only requires 75 hours of training for nursing assistants, which is significantly less than the number of hours required in other states. Nursing assistants are the primary caregivers in nursing and assisted living facilities;

Ohio nursing facilities are only required to make 2.5 hours of nursing staff time available for each resident per day (Ohio Administrative Code 3701-17-08);

Ohio has a limited number of nursing home inspectors when compared with other states;

Most Ohio nursing care facilities are operated as for-profit organizations and as such, they are more likely to be ranked at the bottom of the rankings on the federal Nursing Home Compare website;

Ohio nursing home patients seem to be more dissatisfied with the quality of care they receive when compared with nursing home residents in other states.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an Ohio nursing home fall case, negligence or abuse, you may be entitled to nursing home fall compensation for your injuries and damages under Ohio law. The experienced nursing home abuse attorneys of The O’Keefe Firm have the legal knowledge and skills to represent you throughout your case and to litigate your case in court, if necessary.

Falls are the leading cause of injury and death in older Americans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because of this, nursing homes and other assisted living facilities have a duty to help protect elderly individuals from increased risks of falling. Any failure to do this, could make the facility responsible for injuries caused by falling.

Nursing home falls are preventable with the proper fall prevention programs in place. Nursing homes must take the time to assess new patients for falling risks and potential modifications to enable safer mobility of that patient. The nursing home staff must maintain a high degree of education on nursing home fall prevention. The staff should also be aware of any nursing home patients that have a particularly high risk for falling. Any necessary mobility devices should be easily used and well-maintained.

Injuries from nursing home falls account for roughly 36 percent of potentially preventable visits to the hospital emergency room by nursing home patients. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nursing home falls frequently go unreported. Despite the lack of accurate nursing home fall data, the CDC still receives between 100 and 200 reports of nursing home falls each year from average-sized nursing homes. A nursing home of average size, as defined by the CDC, has approximately 100 beds for elder residents.

Nursing home falls frequently cause a disability, functional decline, reduced independence, and reduced quality of life for an elderly person. Patients with a fear of nursing home falls may also experience feelings of helplessness, loss of function, depression, anxiety, and social isolation. It is important to take precautions, both in and out of a nursing home facility, to prevent elderly falls, fractures, and injury.

When a nursing home agrees to take on a resident they accept a “duty of care” to that resident. This means that the nursing home has a responsibility to protect each resident from harm with a level of reasonable care including a safe environment. When a nursing home facility, its administrators or employees breaks their duty of care by acting recklessly or negligently and a resident is injured as a result, they may be liable for damages.

Elderly people are extra vulnerable to slip and fall accidents because many have mobility and balance problems. When an elderly person falls they often suffer serious consequences including functional decline/reduced quality of life, broken bones and even disability. To prove that nursing home or staff negligence caused the injury, the plaintiff will be asked to provide evidence such as pictures, documents and reports that explain the circumstances around the incident. In most cases, an expert witness is asked to testify that the nursing home violated the duty of care owed to nursing home residents.

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