Among Seniors, More Broken Bones That Are Harder to Heal
Every year millions of Americans suffer fractures. For elderly people, however every broken bone is serious. Making matters worse, the aging process weakens the bones themselves, as well as the muscles around them. Aging also makes our balance less certain. All this adds up to seniors suffering broken bones at a high percentage relative to the rest of the population - with a more dire impact on their quality of life.
Broken Bones in Nursing Homes
According to a recent article in the New York Times called “Bracing for the Falls,” the rate of severe falls among older Americans over 65 has been climbing sharply in the last few years. For many of the same reasons we fall, the falls we take at a more advanced age result in more serious injuries - and are harder to recover from. According to the CDC, every year almost two thousand Americans die in nursing homes due to falls or fall-related injuries.
While aging brings with it certain challenges and risks, many of these falls and broken bones cannot be prevented. Often understaffing or inadequate training in a nursing home or care facility is to blame for serious injuries or even deaths suffered by residents. In such cases, nursing homes may be liable for negligence and forced to compensate victims for their losses.
Nursing Homes Have a Duty to Care For Residents
We all know that nursing homes and care facilities are Big Business. But they do not always take good care of their customers - the elderly, infirm, and disabled. Often profit-motive, poor organization, or sheer cynical indifference causes nursing home to cut back on staff and provide inadequate supervision or resources to residents. When this situation leads to substandard care, nursing homes may be guilty of misconduct and/or abuse and subject to legal action.
Types of Broken Bones in Elderly Nursing Home Residents
Stress Fractures - Typically, stress fractures are small cracks in the bones that arise from overuse or repetitive action. Often, they are found in the lower body, including especially ankles and feet. Nursing home staff can help prevent stress fractures by carefully monitor the health and well-being of each patient under their care, and by conducting regular consultations.
Compression Fractures - Also known as spontaneous fractures, these injuries occur seemingly out of nowhere. In fact, they are typically the result of deterioration of the bone structure which makes bones more susceptible to fracture. Often, osteoporosis is to blame for these fractures. Everything from getting out of bed to walking can lead to a compression fracture.
Traumatic Fractures - The most familiar form of broken bones, traumatic fractures are caused by impact or injury. Most often, older Americans experience a fall which leads to a traumatic bone break. In terms of liability, nursing homes are responsible for monitoring residents to ensure their safety, in particular they must keep vigilant watch over so-called “fall risk” residents who present a heightened risk of injuring themselves due to age, lack of coordination, or medication.
PA & NJ Nursing Home Law Firm
Every fall taken by an elderly person is serious. Some falls are accidental--but others are accidents resulting from negligence. As personal injury lawyers experienced in both elder care law and slip and fall litigation, we represent victims of falls caused by the carelessness or negligence of another party.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries due to a slip & fall, please contact our elder care attorneys immediately at 1-855-462-3330 or by using our online contact form.