The American Geriatrics Society along with the British Geriatrics Society has updated their guidelines for preventing nursing home falls. It’s the first time the guidelines have been updated since 2001.
The guidelines are determined by an extensive literature search that includes reviews, randomized trials, controlled studies and other publications produced between 2001 and 2008.
As an attorney who represents clients who have suffered nursing home falls, I wholeheartedly agree with panel member Dr. Mary Tinetti of Yale University Medical School when she said “Falls are one of the most common health problems experienced by older adults and are a common cause of losing functional independence. Given their frequency and consequences, falls are as serious a health problem for older persons as heart attacks and strokes.”
Nursing home falls have terrible consequences. When residents lose independent mobility, they become susceptible to depression, malnutrition, and bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers). Many of these conditions, especially bedsores, can prove fatal.
The biggest change to the current guidelines is a new recommendation that exercise be included in all fall prevention plans. In addition, cataract surgery, medication reduction for all residents, and a focus on raising blood pressure and managing heart rate are all important factors in fall prevention.
If you have a loved one in an Illinois nursing home, you should speak to their doctor about how to incorporate these new guidelines into their current care plan. Multiple interventions are now being promoted, which is a direct contrast to the prior guidelines.
If you have a loved one who has been injured after repeated falls in an Illinois nursing home, nursing home neglect may also be to blame. At my law offices we offer a free and confidential case evaluation to anyone who feels they may be the victim of nursing home neglect.