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How falls can be prevented at nursing homes

Sending a parent or other loved one to live at a nursing home is stressful and emotional. You want them to get the best care possible and also feel guilty for not having the time or resources to do it on your own. This does not mean you love them any less. It is also worrisome when you hear stories of nursing home neglect on the news. Here are some tips for ensuring your loved one does not fall at the nursing home.

If you know ahead of time that your loved one has struggled with falls, it's best to alert the staff at the nursing home. Tell the management team, the doctors, the nurses, the caretakers and anyone else who will be working with your loved one. This will help them be on the lookout for any issues.

Let the staff know that you are willing to assist the staff in monitoring the resident and how they move about the facility. This can be done by making phone calls and watching how the resident moves when visiting.

Make sure that the staff uses two or more people to help your loved one when he or she is being lifted from one bed to another or from a bed to a chair. One staff member should never do it alone.

If your loved one wears glasses, be sure he or she has a couple pairs with him or her at the nursing home in case one breaks. Remind your loved one to always wear his or her glasses, especially if he or she is moving around the facility.

If you believe your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect it's best to protect his or her rights immediately. You don't want to wait to pursue a case in Alton, Illinois, as there is a statute of limitations.

Source: Illinois Council on Long Term Care, "Developing Successful Strategies for Preventing Falls II," accessed Jan. 19, 2018

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