Falls in Bathroom Can Be Prevented
Falls in the Bathroom, according to a new CDC study published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), an estimated 234,000 people ages 15 and older were treated in U.S. emergency departments (ED) in 2008 for injuries that occurred in bathrooms. Four out of 5 of these injuries were caused by falls—which can have especially serious consequences for older adults. Almost one-third (30 percent) of adults aged 65 and above who were injured in bathrooms were diagnosed with fractures. Among adults aged 85 and older, 38 percent were hospitalized as a result of their injuries. To prevent fall in the bathroom the CDC recommends that additional safety measures be taken to protect all users, including adding non-slip surfaces and grab inside and outside the tub or shower to reduce the likelihood of slips and falls and installing grab bars next to the toilet for additional support, when needed.
Nursing Homes and Other Care Facilities can Reduce Falls in the Bathroom and Bedroom
Nursing homes can reduce the risk to their residents from falls, by making sure that:
1) The call light is answered without delay so that residents do not need to wait and eventually attempt to transfer and go to the bathroom on their own.
2) Residents should not be left unattended in the bathroom or on the toilet when the care plan calls for assistance.
3) Patients with Alzheimer’s and Dementia should be monitored and given a tab alarm which should alert staff if they are attempting to get out of bed or go to an unsupervised area.
4) Risks such as night stands, oxygen tanks and other medical equipment should be placed in a location where the resident is unlikely to strike the object in a fall.
5) Residents who have a risk of falling from their bed should have floor mats to provide a protect surface in the event of a fall to reduce the chance of fractures.
If you have a loved one who was injured in a nursing home or other elder care facility by abuse or neglect, call an attorney who has handled hundreds of claims on behalf of vulnerable adults and knows how to hold facilities accountable. Ken LaBore at 612-743-9048 or by email at klabore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com