Broken Bones in Nursing Homes
While a broken bone may seem like a minor inconvenience to a younger person, fractures can have catastrophic results when the victim is a senior citizen or person with disabilities. Even a broken toe puts vulnerable individuals at an increased risk for additional falls and injuries. If your loved one suffered broken bones at a nursing home or long-term care center, it’s in your best interests to consult with an experienced Birmingham AL nursing home abuse attorney.
At Petro Law Firm, we proudly serve nursing home patients and their families, guiding them through complex neglect and abuse claims against hospitals and nursing homes. To learn more about broken bones in nursing homes and how to protect your loved ones, keep reading.
What Causes Broken Bones in Nursing Homes?
When an older person falls, they are more likely to break bones or suffer fractures. As we age, our bones become more fragile and brittle due to osteoporosis and other factors. Shockingly, one-third of people over 65 will suffer a serious fall each year. That’s why fall prevention is such a critical issue for senior citizens, nursing homes, and long-term care centers.
Common causes of broken bones at nursing homes also include the following:
- Improper transfers in and out of a patient’s bed
- Lack of safety and mobility devices
- Forgetting to put a wheelchair-bound patient’s feet securely in the chair holds
- Failing to put safe, activity-appropriate footwear on patients
- Failing to diagnose bone-related conditions like osteoporosis or balance and gait issues
- Ignoring requests for mobility assistance, spurring a patient to leave their bed or attempt self-help
- Failing to implement appropriate fall preventions
- Allowing a room to become cluttered or unsafe
What Should I Do If My Loved One Breaks a Bone?
If your loved one suffers broken bones, such as fractures to their hips, pelvis, arms, ankles, or legs, you should ask some serious questions. You should ask about:
- The circumstances surrounding your loved one’s fall or injury
- Whether anyone witnessed the fall
- If your loved one was alone, find out why they were unattended
- Safety measures that can be implemented in the future
You should also ask for copies of your loved one’s accident report and associated medical records, although you must either have a medical release or your loved one’s permission to obtain this information.
However, you may not get straight answers from either your loved one or the nursing home. If you don’t feel like you’re getting the whole story, it’s time to contact a Birmingham AL nursing home abuse attorney.
This is particularly true if your loved one suffers an unusual fracture, such as a broken foot. Uncommon broken bones are more likely a sign of nursing home neglect and abuse.
Who Is Most at Risk for Broken Bones?
While the elderly population is more likely to fall, certain factors can further increase this risk. The nursing home should take greater care with a patient who has:
- A known history of falls or broken bones
- Problems with mobility and balance
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Seizure disorders
- Parkinson’s disease
- Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
- Prosthetic limbs or missing toes
- Limited vision or is blind
- An osteoporosis or osteosarcoma diagnosis
Individuals who are 75 years old or older are also at an increased risk for broken bones.
If your loved one has any of these risk factors, you should discuss fall prevention and safety with their nursing care providers. You should also be on the lookout for red flags that suggest nursing home neglect or abuse. If you suspect an issue, contact a Birmingham AL nursing home abuse attorney at Petro Law Firm immediately.
Are All Broken Bones Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
Even the best nursing home can’t foresee every accident and injury. Sometimes, a patient will make an unexpected decision that results in a broken bone, or may have a previously undiagnosed health issue that predisposes them to an injury. However, anytime a nursing home resident breaks a bone, you should investigate the situation.
When in doubt, it’s best to talk with a nursing home abuse attorney. We can help you understand the situation, educate you about warning signs for abuse, and evaluate your case. And because initial consultations are free, there’s very little reason why you should delay your call.
And if a nursing home abuse lawyer suspects neglect, they can help you protect your loved one from further harm and get them the care and compensation they deserve. Depending on your circumstances, your loved one may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and other damages.
Speak to a Birmingham AL Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
To learn more about nursing home abuse, neglect, and broken bones, contact Petro Accident & Injury Attorneys today. Our experienced legal team helps clients investigate abuse claims and does their best to hold negligent nursing staff and long-term care facilities accountable. Contact us today to learn more about our approach to Alabama nursing home abuse law.