Nursing Home Fall Stories

Numerous families have been impacted by a family member sustaining a serious injury from a nursing home fall that ended in death or a permanent disability. Below are some nursing home fall stories!

If your family member was seriously injured in a nursing home fall that resulted in death or a permanent disability, please fill out the nursing home fall story form.

Mother in NC Fell Out of Bed and Fractured Femurs

After receiving doctors` recommendations to place our 81 year old mother in a nursing home, my sister and I reluctantly did. My sister had cared for her until we were told she needed 24-hour care, so mindful of the doctors who know better than us and wanting to give Sweet Mother the best quality of life possible, she was admitted in January 2015. At this point, she wasn`t able to move her legs, but she could feed herself. Over the next six months, she was no longer able to roll from side to side on the bed, and her grip had gotten much weaker. She had to be turned by CNAs from side to side whenever that happened. Sweet Mother always knew who our family members and my sister and I were.

My sister or I managed to visit her (1.5 hours away) at least 5 - 7 days a week at different times. I did Sweet Mother`s laundry rather than having the nursing home perform this task. On a Wednesday in July 2015, I visited my mother, taking her a piece of her favorite chocolate pie. It was a wonderful visit with lots of smiles and hugs and kisses.

On Friday morning, we were notified Sweet Mother had fallen off her bed during the night and was not responsive. Curiously, Sweet Mother was inverted as she lay on the floor after the fall. In other words, on the floor, her head was at the foot of the bed and her feet were at the head of the bed. Remember, she wasn`t able to turn herself on a bed and had a quarter rail raised on both sides.

After a trip to the hospital, a hospital stay of 5 days of Sweet Mother getting worse and in lots of pain, I demanded xrays be taken of her legs and they found that both femurs were broken. Precious Sweet Mother had endured so much pain. Then they were having trouble keeping her oxygen levels consistent and decided she couldn`t have surgery to set her legs, so one was wrapped with an ace bandage and one was placed in a black boot. Three days later, we were told she needed to be placed in Hospice Care. My sister and I stayed with our mother and never left her except to have one meal a day outside the Hospice facility, but we slept in her room as well. Sweet Mother existed nine days total in Hospice Care. I read the Bible to her, rubbed her head, we talked sweetly to her, and I played hymns on a CD player. The Friday night before she died, she developed the death rattle, something I hope to never hear again, but I remained by her side that night and my sister slept on a bed at the foot of hers. On Sunday morning, we kissed her and told her we`d be back and was going to get breakfast (a nurse had urged us to leave and thought Sweet Mother was hanging on until she was alone). At 8:15 a.m. as my sister and I ordered our food at I-Hop, we received a call that Sweet Mother was gone. Mercifully, God came and took her home.

Our Sweet Mother (she died 11 days before her 82nd birthday) shouldn`t have died at this time. The nursing home tried to lie and cover up what they knew. Nurses and CNAs were told not to talk with my sister and me or to answer any questions. And all we wanted was to learn the truth and have the truth set us free. We never understood what happened for our Sweet Mother to fall out of the bed and end up on her right side, unable to move, but inverted on the floor.

We hired an excellent attorney and sued the Nursing Home in an effort to ensure things like this didn`t happen to other people. Unfortunately, falls continue to happen there -- I know because my aunt is in the same facility and was projected out of her wheel chair and broke her leg. We won our case -- but all the other residents didn`t win anything. They are subjected to the care that is offered by this facility -- and sadly -- too many other facilities in this state and nation, i.e., Covid 19.

It is up to those of us to fight that these things aren`t allowed to happen and continue to happen. Our precious parents and grandparents and great-grandparents don`t deserve to end their final days receiving anything but respect and quality care. Unfortunately, our state inspectors are either ineffective or the nursing home administrators have too many lobbyists.

I know Sweet Mother is in Heaven with her God, and I know my sister and I will see her beautiful face again. In the meantime, I`m fighting for the rights of other nursing home residents. No one should fall in their care.

Submitted By: Sandi Edwards
Date Submitted:


Grandmother in NC Fell Out of Wheelchair And Broke Neck

My 88 year old grandma who had dementia was admitted to rehab at a nursing home in late August 2019 because she could not walk to the bathroom on her own or get in/out of her bed anymore. My family had hoped she could get better and eventually come back home. Sadly, that never happened. My grandma had a brain bleed in 2016 so it was important for us to do whatever to prevent her from falling and hitting her head again. The neurologist had shared 3 years ago that if my grandma fell again and had another brain bleed that it could be fatal.

Because of my grandma`s dementia, she had an obsession with picking stuff off the floor. Less than four months later after she was admitted to the nursing home, she was left unattended and unsupervised in her room. She leaned toward the floor to pick some stuff and fell out of her wheelchair hitting her head on the floor. She got a laceration on her forehead. She was taken to the ER at the local hospital. Fortunately, it was confirmed that she did not have a brain bleed. She was brought back to the nursing home, but a number of family members including myself were concerned that she could fall again in a similar way and that the next fall could be fatal. The nursing home had records that showed she had a brain bleed in 2016 so they knew her previous history. We expressed our concerns about preventing her from falling again over the next few days, but the staff members especially a head nurse would not take those concerns seriously. Two days after she fell, her sister noticed she was almost sliding out of her wheelchair in the cafeteria at lunch time and asked a guy to lift her back up in a right position.

Five days later, our family visited her that afternoon. We spent some time with her in the TV room. She constantly tried to pick stuff off the floor and numerous family members had to redirect her to not do that. We left her with a staff member in the cafeteria for dinner that evening and left a little after 5 PM. About 45 minutes later, she was left unattended and unsupervised in her room. She fell out of her wheelchair in a similar way as the fall 5 days earlier. This time, it was much worse because she broke her neck. She was taken to the ER and they confirmed that she had a type II odontoid fracture (also known as a C2 fracture). She was required to wear a neck brace that was uncomfortable for the last 6 weeks of her life. Sadly, she did not recover and there was a decline in her health. She succumbed to complications of the cervical fracture 6 weeks later. Her life was tragically cut short by this devastating fall that could have been prevented.

Submitted By: Granddaughter
Date Submitted:





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