As people age, many of their abilities begin to diminish. You may have a parent whose cognitive abilities have significantly declined and who also has trouble getting around as well as he or she used to. These issues may have resulted in you choosing to utilize a New Mexico nursing home facility to better ensure that your parent receives the care he or she needs.
Understandably, you may worry about your parent suffering harm in the facility for any type of reason. In particular, falls can cause much more serious injuries to the elderly than those in their younger years, and older individuals are typically at higher risk for falling.
Is your parent at a high risk for falling?
When you discuss your parent’s care with the nursing home staff, you may want to make them aware that your parent could have a high risk for falling if any of the following issues are applicable:
- Unsteady gait
- Vision problems
- Cardiovascular disease
- Experiences falling in the past
Making staff members aware of this risk could better ensure that they identify your parent as high risk and take precautions to prevent falls.
How can staff members prevent falls?
Fortunately, nursing home staff members can take various precautions in order to prevent falls in the case of your parent and other at-risk residents. Some of those precautions can include the following:
- Providing assistance to residents as they move from a bed to a chair or vice versa, or while making trips to the restroom or other locations on foot
- Labeling residents’ charts with fall risk information and including labels on room doors or residents’ wrist bands
- Having handrails and other assistance tools available for resident use
- Ensuring that residents wear eyeglasses if applicable
- Keeping areas clear of possible fall hazards, such as clutter in walkways
- Making sure that residents do not overmedicate and are taking the right medications
These examples represent just a small number of the many ways that nursing home staff members could help prevent your parent from falling.
What if your parent falls and suffers harm?
As with any situation, it is possible for accidents to happen, and your parent could fall while staying in the facility. However, if you suspect that negligence on the part of the staff, such as ignoring your parent’s requests for help or not providing assistive tools, contributed to your parent’s injuries, you have reason to be upset and concerned. In fact, you may have reason to take legal action against the facility if you believe that negligence played a role in such an incident.