How Nursing Home Neglect Leads to Fractures in the Elderly

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Nursing home neglect can lead to bone fractures among elderly residents in obvious and subtle ways.

Bobby Jones Law represents people hurt by nursing home neglect. If you or a loved one has suffered a bone fracture, contact our nursing home abuse lawyer to talk about your case.

10 Ways That Nursing Home Neglect Can Cause Bone Fractures

1. Trying to move without assistance

If a nursing home resident doesn’t receive the help they need to adjust their position, they may try to move on their own. They may try to move independently from standing, sitting, or lying down when they really need help. A resident may not have the strength to move, or they may lack the balance they need to move safely. The result may be a fall and a broken bone.

2. Lack of appropriate medical devices

Residents in care facilities often rely on mobility assistance devices. They may use walkers, wheelchairs, and canes to help them move. Suffering from neglect may mean that these devices are not provided to a resident when appropriate. It may mean that a device is in disrepair. Failing to provide appropriate medical devices may be nursing home neglect, and it may result in fractures for the elderly resident.

3. Broken railings and flooring

Neglect may mean failing to adequately care for the facility itself. If railings are not present, or if they are broken, it may cause a person to lose their balance. Broken flooring may be a problem, too. Slippery floors, loose carpets, and objects in the path can result from neglect, causing bone fractures and other injuries.

4. Vision impairment, poor lighting

Neglect can make it difficult for a nursing home resident to see properly. Inadequate medical attention may mean that they don’t receive the glasses and contacts they need and that vision problems aren’t identified before they lead to harm. In addition, poor lighting in the facility can be neglectful. It may result in a fall and fracture of the bone.

5. Inadequate nutrition causing frailty

The nutrition that a resident receives is especially important to their health and overall well-being. Too little food and food that isn’t sufficiently nutritious can make a resident tired and frail. Water is important, too.

Poor nutrition can hasten the loss of bone structure, eventually causing a break.

6. Inadequate medical care leading to decreased overall health

A person lives in a nursing home because they need extra care and attention. That includes sufficient medical attention. When a person suffers from medical neglect, they may suffer from a worse overall health outcome. It may mean being more susceptible to fracture and a range of other health problems.

Among other things, seizures and fainting risk should be addressed because they can result in a serious fall.

7. Lack of training

Negligence may occur in a nursing home in the form of inadequate staffing or a lack of training. A resident may not be properly trained to assist residents, like how to lift properly or what mobility supports to provide. They may not know how often to check on patients, or they may fail to perform their job duties without being held accountable. Staffing problems may result in bone fractures because residents don’t get the personal attention that they deserve.

8. Mental health decline

Neglect can lead to mental health decline. A resident who is neglected may suffer from feelings of depression and isolation. Mental health conditions can lower overall health outcomes, which in turn can increase the frequency of bone breaks.

9. Cluttered and dirty areas

Neglect can make a resident room or common areas cluttered and dirty. Staff may not notice where things are in the way that could cause a fall. Residents may not see items left where they shouldn’t be until it is too late. Floors that are not regularly cleaned can become slick or uneven to walk on. Bone fractures may be the unintended result when a fall occurs because of clutter and dirt.

10. Failing to address personal risk factors

Proper care for a nursing home resident means addressing the risk factors that are personal to their situation. Neglect may mean treating every resident the same. A person may need extra attention, a special diet, or unique mobility supports. Not giving the resident what they need can ultimately result in fractures in the elderly.

What are the types of fractures that elderly patients can suffer?

  • Closed or open: Whether the bone breaks the skin
  • Hairline fracture: From repetitive stress, inadequate footwear, lack of mobility supports, and inappropriate activities for a resident
  • Complicated fracture: Damaging the body around the bone
  • Comminuted fracture: When the bone shatters into small fragments
  • Avulsion fracture: Tendon pulling that breaks off a small piece of bone
  • Compression fracture: Collapsed bone of the vertebrae

Signs of Broken Bones in Nursing Home Resident

Signs of broken bones in a nursing home resident may include:

  • Complaints of pain
  • Physical disfigurement, visibly seeing the bone
  • Not moving an arm or leg
  • Changes in mobility
  • Mood changes, extra irritability, or anxiety
  • One leg being shorter than the other
  • Bruising, swelling, redness

Complications of Broken Bones for a Nursing Home Resident

A broken bone can cause complications for a nursing home resident. The lack of use of the body may lead to muscle loss. It can lead to a decline in balance. A person may be more likely to suffer injury to the surrounding organs and structures of the body.

Suffering may be mental, too. If a resident can’t do things that they used to enjoy, they may suffer depression. They may have anxiety about the future. These complications can harm their overall health.

Get Legal Help With a Free Consultation

Have you suffered a bone fracture in a nursing home? Is a family member suffering from a broken bone in a nursing home? Victims may have a claim for financial compensation.

Robert “Bobby” Jones of Bobby Jones Law is an attorney for nursing home neglect victims.

When neglect leads to a bone fracture, he advocates for compensation. Contact us online now.

The team at Bobby Jones Law LLC works tirelessly for the injured in South Carolina. His achievements include:
  • More than $60 million collected for our clients
  • Multiple recoveries exceeding $1 million, including an eight-figure settlement
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We’re humbled to be considered one of the top firms in the Upstate and invite you to learn what sets our award-winning legal services apart. Call or request a consultation online.
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