Reporting Falls

If your loved one has a fall at a nursing home, but it is not serious enough to cause a permanent disability or possibly death, you need to request to talk to the administrator, director of nursing, assistant director of nursing, or a head nurse immediately about them implementing a plan to prevent your loved one from falling again. All nursing homes are legally required to assess residents for fall risks constantly throughout their stay. A fall risk assessment should be performed immediately after every fall. When these assessments are done incorrectly or not completed, a resident could have a higher risk of falling.

For example, nursing homes need to keep in mind that some residents with severe dementia and/or those who lean out of their wheelchairs often should not be left unattended or unsupervised in their room even for a few minutes. Those residents are like toddlers in a daycare. For example, a daycare should make sure that there are enough staff members watching children as they play outside at all times. Some solutions for residents at high risk of falling out of a wheelchair could include: 1.) Keeping them in front of the nurses' station so they can be watched and 2.) Putting those residents in an activity room under supervision of at least one staff member

If the nursing home staff members especially charge nurses are resistant to your concerns about how to prevent another fall from happening, you should consider moving them to another nursing home facility and/or discuss the matter with your local Long-term care ombudsmen.

If your loved one's fall leads to serious injury or death, you should report the fall to:

1.) The Long-Term Care Ombudsman for your area

2.) The agency in your state that oversees nursing home

3.) Attorney - You should consult with an attorney about legal options.


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