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The frequency and seriousness of nursing home falls

Despite the best efforts of most nursing homes and long term care facilities, there are times when residents are injured. In many cases, this results from a fall.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1,800 nursing home residents die every year in an injury related to a fall. While many people survive a fall, they still suffer injuries that reduce their quality of life and often lead to permanent disability.

Here are some additional statistics, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discussing the frequency and seriousness of nursing home falls:

-- There are more than 1.4 million people age 65 and older living in nursing homes.

-- Nursing home residents often times fall more than once. The average per resident is 2.6 falls every year.

-- Approximately 35 percent of injuries from falls occur among residents who are unable to walk.

-- About 10 to 20 percent of all nursing home falls cause a serious injury, such as a fracture or broken bone.

-- Fear of falling can be almost as dangerous as the act, as this can lead to depression, loss of function and social isolation.

It is important for nursing homes to understand that residents are at risk of falling, thus leading to serious injury and death. Along with this, the loved ones of nursing home residents should keep a close watch on the facility to ensure the proper level of safety.

With so many nursing home residents injured and killed in falls, it is important for all parties involved to know what is going on at all times.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Falls in Nursing Homes," accessed Sep. 07, 2015

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