How Should Nursing Home Employees Respond to a Fall?

Due to age-related deterioration of bones and muscles, elderly individuals are much more likely to fall down as they get older. Additionally, these elderly individuals are much more likely to sustain injuries during falls. Nursing homes should be highly aware of the potential dangers of falls and take appropriate measures to prevent them. Unfortunately, falls can occur even in situations where precautions have been taken. In these cases, it is crucial that the elderly patient receive proper care in order to minimize the damage.

If you have an elderly loved one who has fallen in his or her nursing home, you may be wondering what steps should have been taken by employees to provide an appropriate level of care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has outlines eight steps that nursing home employees should follow after a resident falls. If any of these steps were skipped or ignored and damage was caused as a result, you may have a legal case against the nursing home.

Eight Steps

In the unfortunate case of an elderly nursing home resident falling down, nursing home employees should act quickly to ensure minimal damage to that individual. The nursing home is responsible for:

  1. Evaluating and monitoring the patient for at least 72 hours after the fall
  2. Investigating the circumstances that led to the fall
  3. Accurately documenting the circumstances, resident outcome, and staff response
  4. Alerting the patient’s primary care provider
  5. Intervening within the first 24 hours
  6. Completing a fall assessment
  7. Developing a care plan
  8. Monitoring the staff’s compliance and the patient’s response

Nursing home employees are expected to be trained on these steps, and failure to follow them could result in further physical or emotional damage to the elderly patient.

Contact an Austin Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

If you have a loved one who has suffered a fall in his or her nursing home, you have every right to ensure the physical health and future safety of your loved one. Contact a Hotze Runkle attorney in Austin by calling 512-476-7771 or call our offices toll-free at 877-919-0830 to find out how we can help you.