Common Types of Nursing Home Injuries

A nurse helping an elderly woman after experiencing nursing home injuries.

When you place your loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you expect that they will have the best possible care. Unfortunately, there are many types of injuries that can occur in nursing homes — and many arise from neglect. While some accidents that result in injury may be due to neglect, others are caused by elder abuse. The following are some of the most common nursing home injuries to look out for.


Bedsores, also referred to as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, are skin wounds that occur due to constant pressure placed on the bony parts of the body. These types of nursing home injuries frequently occur in those who cannot move well on their own and spend a considerable amount of time in a bed or wheelchair. Bedsores are often an indication of nursing home neglect — and they can take months or even years to heal. Those that go left untreated can impact the tendons, ligaments, and bone in the later stages.


Malnutrition can occur due to a lack of quantity or quality of food and water. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies which put a nursing home patient at risk of serious illness, injury, or fatality. Common symptoms of malnutrition can include mood changes, sudden weight loss, irritability, low blood pressure, and recurring infections. It can also increase the risk of vitamin D deficiency, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and other diseases.


Falls can cause a wide range of nursing home injuries. Sometimes, a fall can be caused by a medical condition. In other cases, they can be caused by a hazard, such as poor lighting, unstable furniture, ineffective wheelchair brakes, wet floors, or beds that are too high. Regardless of the cause, common fall injuries can include broken bones, fractures, concussions, spinal cord injuries, nerve damage, and even fatalities. Importantly, a nursing home has a duty to ensure safe conditions for all residents — failure to do so may constitute neglect.

Medication Injuries

There are a wide variety of medication errors that can be made in nursing homes which result in physical or mental health issues. Medication injuries can arise from prescribing a resident the incorrect medication, giving the wrong dose, or administering a medication that was not prescribed. Notably, a nursing home must keep track of each patient’s medications, administer them properly, understand their medical history, and seek medical help if side effects appear. Medication errors can place a patient at risk of major complications, including stroke and death.

Head Injuries

Head injuries are a significant risk for nursing home residents, particularly those who suffer from decreased balance, reduced vision, loss of reflexes, or other age-related issues. Head injuries can be sustained due to falls, negligent monitoring, medication errors that result in imbalance, nursing home abuse, and inadequate mobility assistance. A nursing home may be liable if a head injury was caused by failure to follow proper protocol or provide mobility assistance. A facility can also be held accountable if a known dangerous condition caused the fall that led to the head injury — and the hazard was not remedied in a timely manner.


When a nursing home and its staff are negligent, residents may not receive the proper care and attention they require. This can lead to a variety of infections, including soft tissue infections, cellulitis, skin infections, urinary tract infections, sepsis, staph infections, bone infections, and respiratory infections. In many cases, these illnesses can be avoided with adequate care, medication, and treatment. If a nursing home patient develops an infection or does not receive the necessary treatment for one, it could indicate negligence.

Broken Bones and Fractures

Some of the most common causes of broken bones and fractures include trip and fall accidents, falls from beds, fainting episodes, vision problems, and various physical conditions. However, they can also be caused by nursing home abuse or neglect. In the event your loved one is unwilling to explain an injury — or they have multiple broken bones at different stages of the healing process — this may be a sign that they have suffered abuse or neglect at the facility.

Restraint Injuries

The use of restraints is prohibited in nursing homes — except in limited cases when there is an emergency. While physical restraints restrict a person’s movement, chemical restraints sedate or control their behavior. When restraints are used, a patient can develop bedsores, injuries from attempting to escape the restraints, decreased circulation, malnutrition, and heart attack caused by stress. Prolonged periods of restraint can also lead to malnutrition and dehydration. If your loved one suffered nursing home injuries due to unlawful restraint, you may be able to hold the facility accountable by filing a legal action.

Contact an Experienced Nursing Home Injury Attorney

If you suspect that your family member has been subjected to nursing home injuries potentially caused by abuse or neglect, it’s important to understand what legal recourse you may have. An experienced nursing home injury attorney can assist you with obtaining justice on behalf of your loved one.

Proudly serving accident victims in Anchorage, Soldotna, Kenai, Palmer, Wasilla, and other areas of Alaska, The Trial Guy, Eric Derleth, is dedicated to representing clients for a wide array of personal injury matters, including those involving nursing home abuse and neglect. Call 907-262-9164 to schedule a free consultation at our Anchorage or Soldotna office, or contact us online. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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