Slips and Falls Among the Elderly
Anyone can be a victim of a slip and fall, but these types of incidents can especially plague the elderly. Falls are the leading cause of injuries for seniors. Every year, approximately 25% of those over the age of 65 suffer a fall. A senior dies from a fall every 19 minutes. Every year, falls result in 2.8 million injuries and at least 27,000 deaths. Falls are also expensive, costing $50 billion per year.
Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries. Many fall victims suffer lacerations, hip fractures and head trauma. Fatal falls often involve traumatic brain injuries. Fractures of the spine, hand, arm, leg, ankle and pelvis can also occur.
Besides causing injuries, falls can affect seniors in many other ways. Once a person has fallen, they may be scared that they will fall again. This can cause many elderly folks to lead a sedentary lifestyle. They may be afraid to socialize with friends and family members, which can lead to isolation. They may feel helpless and depressed. This can then lead to mental and physical decline.
Fall risk assessments and programs can help seniors identify risk factors that can increase their risk of falling. A doctor can assess a person’s physical and functional abilities, identify factors and increase mobility and independence.
Home exercises can help. By exercising often, seniors can improve mobility, strength, balance and flexibility, reducing in fewer falls. They can also increase their step length and walking speed, leading to improved cardiovascular fitness. If they do fall, these exercises can reduce the severity of the injuries. Walking, swimming and gentle exercises such as tai chi can help.
Tips for Fall Prevention
Here are some ways to help you or your loved one prevent falls in and out of the home:
- Wear the right shoes. Sandals and high heels provide little support the feet and may have slippery soles, which can make slips and trips more likely. Instead, wear sensible, sturdy shoes with nonslip soles.
- Look for hazards. There may be certain items in your home that can lead to trips and slips. Clean up your walkways and remove boxes, papers, cords and other hazards. Keep coffee tables and large furniture items out of high-traffic areas so you do not bump into them. Make sure rugs are secured with tape or else throw them out. Use nonslip mats in the bathroom. Repair loose or broken flooring and clean up spills promptly.
- Add light. A well-lit home can help you avoid bumping into objects and falling. Use night lights in bedrooms, bathrooms and other dark places of the home. Have lamps in the bedroom within reach. Have flashlights handy in the event of a power outage.
Contact a Coral Springs Personal Injury Attorney
Slips and falls can be serious, especially among the elderly. Such an accident can cause broken bones, head trauma, mobility issues and even death.
Coral Springs slip and fall attorney Barry S. Mittelberg can assess your case and determine liability. He can help you or your loved one obtain the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at (954) 752-1213.