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Caring For Our Elders- Preventing Falls & Abuse

The risk of falling increases with age and is greater for women than for men.

Although there is no particular risk factor that causes falls, the greater the number of risk factors to which an individual is exposed, the greater the risk of falling. Some people believe that falls are a normal part of aging; however, many falls are preventable.

Some of the key risk factors of falls among older adults include, but are not limited to:

Osteoporosis - bones become more porous, less resistant to stress, and more prone to fractures.

Prevention: take sufficient calcium, eat foods such as yogurt, cheese, milk, fish, broccoli, take sufficient Vitamin D - enhances the absorption of calcium into the bloodstream

Lack of Physical Activity - failure to exercise is not healthy. It results in poor muscle tone, decreased strength and loss of bone mass and flexibility.

Prevention: engage in daily exercise, such as walking and/or swimming, wear proper fitting shoes with rubber soles

Vision - cataracts and glaucoma alter an older person's depth perception, increasing the risk of falling

Prevention: have regular eye checkups, clean glasses often

Medications - many medications, such as sedatives, anti-depressants or anti-psychotic drugs can contribute to falls by reducing mental alertness and balance.

Prevention: know the side effects of medications taken, remove all out-of-date medications, limit alcohol intake

Environmental Hazards - one-third of all falls happen in the home by tripping over objects on the floor, poor lighting, loose rugs, lack of grab bars or un-sturdy furniture.

Prevention: - conduct a walk-through of your home, both inside and outside, cover all rooms and areas no matter how small

Nursing Home Neglect -Nursing home abuse can be devastating. If your loved one experienced this, you have every right to be upset. You have every right to feel hurt and angry.

It is important to monitor your loved one's situation when they are in a nursing home. There are many signs and symptoms that you should look for if you suspect that they are being abused or neglected. If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect, call us immediately. We will gladly review your case for free.

Nursing Home Abuse Watch for the Warning Signs

Physical Abuse

  • Frequent injuries such as bruises, cuts, black eyes or burns.
  • Frequent complaints of pain without obvious injury.
  • Passive, withdrawn, or emotionless behavior.
  • Lack of reaction to pain.
  • Reports of physical abuse.

Neglect

  • Obvious malnutrition (unexplained weight loss) and dehydration.
  • Lack of personal cleanliness.
  • Habitually dressed in torn or dirty clothes.
  • Constantly hungry.
  • In need of medical/dental care.
  • Left unattended for long periods of time.
  • Reports of neglect.

Facts show that as people age, their risk of experiencing a fall leading to a serious injury or death increases. These falls can occur in their own residence or at a nursing home in the presence of a supervising staff. According to the CDC, the leading cause of injury deaths are due to falls in people over 65; these rates have risen significantly over the past decade.

If you or a loved one has fallen because of someone else's negligence at a nursing home or other care facility and you don't know what to do next, contact the experienced elder abuse attorneys at Peach & Weathers. We are here to help and provide you with the important information you need to make an informed decision about how to proceed with a personal injury claim.

We have offices in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties for your convenience.

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