Slips and Falls Among the Elderly

People are living longer nowadays. The United States has a large elderly population, with more than 46 million seniors over the age of 65. While getting older should be an achievement, it is also dangerous.

Weakening eyesight and mobility issues can cause an elderly person to slip, trip and fall. Such an event can lead to serious injuries, as elderly bodies are often frail. Bones are more likely to break, causing debilitating health conditions.

While falls are common – occurring in 1 in 3 adults – they are a serious issue among seniors. Not only do they cause physical issues but emotional ones. If a person has fallen before, it can cause them to lose confidence in their abilities. They may live a sedentary lifestyle because they fear falling again. This can lead to anxiety, depression and a lower quality of life overall. Because of this, it is important that those who have elderly friends and loved ones take the steps to keep them safe.

Common Injuries

Seniors can face serious injuries in a fall, including the following:

  • Lacerations
  • Hip fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussions and other head trauma
  • Broken bones, particularly in the spine, arms, legs, ankles, hands and pelvis

The elderly are more prone to serious injuries, since bones become brittle and weak as we age. In some cases, a fall can even lead to death.

Slip and Fall Prevention

The good news is that there are many things we can do to prevent falls in the elderly. Follow these tips:

  • Understand your health conditions and medications. Many seniors take multiple prescription drugs for various ailments, and these medications may be increasing their fall risk. For example, some drugs cause dizziness, joint pain and mobility issues, all which can make it easier to suffer a fall.
  • Stay active. Physical activity is still important as we age. Gentle exercise can strengthen bones while improving balance and flexibility, all which can reduce the risk of falling.
  • Avoid hazards. Many items in the home can cause slips, trips and falls. Keep walkways clear by removing clutter. Repair any broken flooring. Clean up spills promptly and use nonslip mats in the bathroom.
  • Wear appropriate footwear. Ditch the sandals and slippers and wear sturdy shows with nonslip soles instead.

Taking Legal Action

While many slip and falls are caused by the victim’s own carelessness, there are situations in which a third party is liable. If your injuries were caused by a dangerous condition on another person’s property – such as spilled milk at a grocery store or ice in the parking lot of a shopping center – you may be able to obtain compensation for your damages.

The Vineland, NJ law firm of Rosner Law Offices, P.C is skilled in slip and fall cases. They can assess your case and determine liability. Schedule a free consultation today. Contact their office at (856) 502-1655.

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