Many families with elderly loved ones in New Mexico pay considerable attention to the living condition of residents at nursing home facilities before deciding where to house their family member. Their thorough research reflects the type of quality care they wish their loved one to have access to. Unfortunately, there are instances where human error, lapses in communication and even blatant ignorance can create hazardous conditions for residents at nursing home facilities.
One of the most common types of injuries in nursing homes is falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency rooms see approximately 2.8 million elderly people every year for slips and falls. They report that another 300,000 are hospitalized for fractures to their hips. Falls can result in head injuries, broken bones, decreased physical mobility and anxiety among other things.
The National Council on Aging suggests that people can create a safer environment for their elderly loved ones by doing the following:
- They should discuss the health conditions of elderly family members in a private setting to determine that they are aware of their limitations to avoid unnecessary falls.
- They should look for signs that elderly family members are struggling with balance and gait and promptly provide assistance with walking and stability, including providing resources like walkers, canes and wheelchairs.
- They should guarantee that all vision checkups are completed routinely and that any problems are addressed promptly.
- They should maintain an environment free of hazards by keeping walkways well-lit and maintained and removing any potential obstructions.
They should also provide support as needed for elderly loved ones, as well as be aware of what medications their family member is taking which could potentially compromise attention, balance and mobility.