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Falls & Hip Fractures in Nursing Homes

Falls are common in nursing homes, with devastating and costly consequences for patients and facilities. In particular, fall-related injuries are among the most serious health issues facing facilities and their patients.

Yet despite the increase in fall prevention programs, falls continue to occur at an alarming rate, and the incidence of hip fractures remains high—placing both patients and facilities at risk. Consider this handful of statistics:


Hip fractures are among the most serious health issues facing nursing homes and their many residents.


Injurious falls occur frequently and repeatedly among nursing home residents due to advanced age, co-morbidities such as osteoporosis and dementia, and prescription medications.1, 2


  • Studies in nursing homes indicate that the average number of falls per bed per year is 1.5, and ranges up to 3.6.3
  • Patients with dementia experience falls at nearly double the rate of patients without dementia, averaging more than four falls per year.2
  • The problem is not limited to ambulatory patients—about 35% of fall-related injuries occur in residents who are non-ambulatory, such as those using wheelchairs.
  • As a result of the above factors, the risk of hip fracture can be much higher for those living in nursing homes than for those living outside such settings.4
  • A comprehensive 2012 study found that hip fractures represent 40% of all fall-related injuries in nursing homes.1
  • At any one time, the nursing home population of the US is 1.5 million5
  • Approximately half of those who were relatively independent before suffering a hip fracture never regain the ability to function independently.6




  1. Quigley P, Campbell R, Bulat T, Olney R, Buerhaus P, Needleman J. Incidence and cost of serious fall-related injuries in nursing homes. Clin Nurs Res. 2012;21:10–23.
  2. Van Doorn C, Gruber-Baldini A, Zimmerman S, et al. Dementia as a risk factor for falls and fall injuries among nursing home residents. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003;51:1213–1218.
  3. Rubenstein L, Josephson K, Robbins A. Falls in the nursing home. Ann Intern Med. 1994;121:442–451.
  4. Leytin V, Beaudoin F. Reducing hip fractures in the elderly. Clin Interv Aging. 2011;6:61–65.
  5. Jones AL, Dwyer LL, Bercovitz AR, Strahan GW. The National Nursing Home Survey: 2004 overview. Vital Health Stat 13(167). 2009.
  6. Magaziner J, Hawkes W, Hebel J, et al. Recovery from hip fracture in eight areas of function. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2000;55:M498–M507.