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Nursing home falls can have catastrophic consequences

For the elderly, falls remain a serious health risk. The results are often far more catastrophic than they would be for younger people, and this can't be overlooked. That's especially true when falls happen in nursing homes, where the elderly are supposed to be provided with care that prevents these accidents.

To better understand the situation, below are a few key stats about falls from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

1. Serious injuries stem from 20 percent of falls, or one out of every five. These issues could include things like head injuries or broken bones.

2. About 800,000 people wind up in the hospital annually after falls. The most common reasons they need treatment are because of the aforementioned head injuries and hip fractures.

3. Nothing causes more traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) than falls. A TBI can have a vast range of consequences, sometimes resulting in the permanent loss of motor skills, cognitive skills and other functions.

4. Falls are also responsible for the vast majority of hip fractures. 300,000 elderly people or more wind up in the hospital with these hip fractures every year. 95 percent of those injuries were caused by falls.

5. Fall injuries cost around $31 billion every year.

As you can see, falls are very common. The consequences are very real and can have a permanent impact on someone's quality of life. Many times, the costs associated with these injuries are dramatic.

Did an elderly loved one fall in a nursing home and suffer serious injuries? If neglect or abuse was involved, it's crucial that you know what legal rights your family may have.

Source: CDC, "Important Facts about Falls," accessed Sep. 11, 2017

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