Study Links Staff-Patient Ratios to Fall Risk in Long Term Care Facilities

According to a study released by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, one in five short-stay nursing home patients sustains a fall after their admission. Researchers from the University of Southern California and Brown University determined that, in 2006 among more than 230,000 patients in nearly 10,000 nursing homes across the country, 21% of newly admitted nursing home residents sustained at least one fall during their first 30 days in the facility.

To identify the many factors contributing to falls, researchers also examined organizational characteristics of nursing homes. They found that facilities with higher CNA-to-patient staffing ratios were associated with fewer falls. The national study is believed to be the first of its kind to specifically analyze fall rates among newly admitted nursing home residents. According to the lead author, this study highlights the goals of those patients entering facilities for rehabilitation relative to those of long-term patients who reside in the nursing home. Falls, often slow or eliminate a person chances for rehabilitation and getting back into the community. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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