Nobody ever enjoys falling—it can take you by surprise, cause both immediate and long-lasting pain, and bruise both your body and your ego. However, if you’re young and spry, you can heal relatively quickly from a lot of slip and fall injuries. Elderly people, on the other hand, are more likely to encounter complications and require medical treatment after this kind of accident.
According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 1 in 3 adults 65 and over fall each year, and between 20% and 30% of those people suffer hip fractures, head lacerations, and head trauma. Those injuries can result in costly medical treatment and, if the elderly adult has been living on their own, sometimes makes it difficult for them to continue doing so.
Why Fall Risk Increases as We Age
One of the most obvious reasons that fall injuries become increasingly likely as we age is because we become more susceptible to breaking bones and don’t heal as quickly as younger people. As you get older, your bone density decreases, making your bones more prone to fracturing on impact.
Of course, that’s not the only reason the elderly are more at risk for slip and fall injuries. There are a wide range of risk factors, including:
Difficulty balancing. There are a number of different balance disorders, such as vertigo and labyrinthitis, which become more common as you age. Dizziness or difficulty maintaining a center of balance can lead elderly people to fall more easily.
Limited physical activity. Although some elderly people do make a conscious effort to exercise on a regular basis, others become more sedentary as they age. A lack of regular physical activity leads to muscle atrophy, decreased strength, and loss of flexibility—all of which puts people at greater risk for falls.
Vision problems.If an elderly person has difficulty seeing due to cataracts, glaucoma, or other vision problems, they may have trouble seeing potential tripping or slipping hazards around them.
Environmental hazards. Sometimes falls are caused by something as seemingly minor as a folded over corner on a rug, an electrical cord on the floor, or an uneven step. If an elderly person falls due to an environmental hazard, the person or organization responsible for keeping that area safe may be liable.
How to Reduce the Risk of Falls for the Elderly
There are steps that both elderly people and their loved ones can take to reduce the odds of experiencing a serious fall. Elderly people can:
Maintain physical activity by walking, taking a water aerobics class, or playing a sport like tennis
Talk to a doctor if they begin experiencing dizziness, vision problems, or other health issues
Understand that they may have limits when it comes to certain activities, such as riding an escalator or climbing a ladder, and seek assistance when necessary
Family, friends, and caretakers of seniors can also help by:
Maintaining homes that are free of tripping hazards: remove clutter from walkways, store electrical cords, and make sure rugs are flush with the floor
Carefully supervise seniors with dementia when walking in areas with snow or ice, as they may not know to be careful around potential slipping hazards
Make sure all staircases have sturdy handrails
Install grab bars on the sides of toilets and bath tubs used by seniors
Contact a slip and fall lawyer if an elderly loved one falls due to the recklessness or negligence of another person; while a lawyer can’t heal the injury, they can help you recover the compensation you need to cover medical and care expenses
The effort it requires to take a few simple precautions is well worth it in order to protect the people you love from the potentially serious injuries of a slip and fall accident.
About the Author: Steven Slootsky is a 1985 graduate of Nova Law School, which means he’s been a practicing Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer for more than 2 decades. He founded the Law Offices of The Injury Law Firm of South Florida in 1991. The Fort Lauderdale-based accident attorney is a member of the Florida Bar, as well as the Federal Bar for the Southern District for the U.S. District Court. During his career as a personal injury lawyer/auto accident compensation attorney, Steven has served as the co-chair of the Workers’ Compensation section for Broward County, Florida. He is also a Bronze member of the Florida Workers Advocates, a former member of the board, and serves as an “Eagle” member of the Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers.
Buy a car? Need minimum liability required. Buy a house? Got to have a homeowners’ policy. Living and breathing? Government says you better have health coverage or else. So why does it seem then that those insurance companies that we hire and pay regular monthly premiums to continue to fight so hard against acting in [..]
In June 2018, a horrific crash was caught on camera near Orlando. In this very dramatic footage, the vehicle is seen drifting into a concrete barrier at the toll plaza on the Florida Turnpike near St. Cloud. The impact ejects one of the four passengers onboard out through the windshield and sends him flying for [..]
If you recently suffered injuries from night out on the town, you know that slip and fall injuries are no joke. People have received millions of dollars in compensation after slipping and falling at a store or a bar. Maybe you want to pursue one of these lawsuits yourself. After all, the medical bills are [..]
If you have recently suffered a personal injury and are currently considering filing a claim, you are likely asking yourself whether the effort will be worth your time. Frankly, the answer to that question depends on what the incident has cost you. In a personal injury case, when a judge or jury finds there is [..]
No turn signals, sudden stops, swerving – driving on the road in Florida can feel like an accident waiting to happen. Even if you’ve lived in the state your whole life, it can be incredibly frustrating to drive here. Worse, the blame is shared between retirees, tourists, and just downright bad drivers. Unfortunately, it appears [..]
As a homeowner, you pay your premium for homeowner’s insurance trusting that your insurer will do right by you in the event that the worst happens. That they will pay out for covered damages. This is known as acting in good faith. Although most insurers operate ethically and meet their obligations to policyholders, it’s also [..]
When Harry Davila and his children first came to us in September of 2018, they were heartbroken and deep in grief. Harry had lost his dear wife Mary, and his children had lost their beloved mother. However, their sorrow not only came from the fact that they lost her to breast cancer earlier that month, [..]
This may be obvious, but if you are at fault in a car crash, you can’t receive compensation from anyone. However, you may be too quick to blame yourself if your brakes failed and caused the crash. There are a number of parties who could potentially be at fault for your car accident, so don’t [..]
Are you traveling with your children over spring break? Use these tips to keep your kids safe while you enjoy your family vacation. Prepping for Your Trip Since a trip to the emergency room is needed in a shocking 25 percent of all family vacations, it’s wise to prepare ahead of time for family safety. [..]
Did your child get a new bike over the holidays? Are they begging you to let them bike to school… but you’re feeling hesitant about it? Your worries are understandable. Florida can be a dangerous place for cyclists, and kids aren’t exactly known for being careful. However, children need to have some sense of autonomy, [..]
Bars and advertisements for alcoholic products often encourage people to “drink responsibly,” but in some cases, the establishments or bartenders serving these drinks may be at least partially liable for a patron’s alcohol-related injury or death. Under certain circumstances, bars can—and should—be held responsible for over-serving patrons. Many states have “dram shop” laws (named [..]
The death of a loved one is traumatic and devastating experience— regardless of the cause. However, the ordeal can be especially upsetting if the death could have been avoided had it not been for the negligent actions of another. In Florida, surviving family members and loved ones may be able to recover compensation for [..]
Summertime is quickly approaching, which means barbecues, family vacations, and a lot of days sitting by the pool. While you and your loved ones enjoy the hot summer weather and cool water, it is important to keep yourself safe. In this post we will be focusing on swimming pool injuries and how to prevent them. [..]
Right now, all Florida drivers are required to have car insurance coverage that pays personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, but that may come to an end in 2019 if some lawmakers get their way. Florida currently operates under a “no-fault” system when it comes to paying insurance claims after a car accident. If a [..]
When you become a parent, every little decision regarding your child’s safety and development can become a hot debate. We’re not going to tell you how to raise your child, but we do have one piece of advice backed up with statistics from the AAP and NHTSA. When you are driving with your child, [..]
It’s not every day that you get into an accident and need to file a personal injury protection (PIP) suit. This type of litigation may be confusing to many, especially since PIP laws are constantly being debated and changed in Florida. However, it is possible for you to get through this process and receive [..]
Car accidents can result in tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs. How is it decided who will have to pay for these damages and bills? In Florida, it usually starts with personal injury protection (PIP). If you experience damages that add up to less than [..]
Image: http://pixabay.com/en/dog-man-attacking-canine-training-78117/ When Pets Attack, They Can Cause Serious or Even Fatal Injuries Most people like dogs. How can you resist those adoring eyes, the wagging tail, and the warm, fuzzy head that seems to appear in your lap just when you’re feeling your lowest? So many Americans like dogs, in fact, that [..]
What are your chances of getting hit by someone driving a rental car in Florida? Every year, the state of Florida has 15 million active drivers on its many roads and highways. About 250,000 drivers end up in car crashes annually in Florida. Since almost 85 million visitors come to enjoy Florida every year, [..]
School is out, but that doesn’t mean your child has to be stuck at home for the summer with no structure and nothing to do. Summer camps are a great way to keep your child active, supervised, and having fun – while also allowing them to branch out. However, summer camps come with a lot [..]
This law firm helped me with my car accident case and helped me to get the most of the medical benefits that were needed after the accident, and gave me fair and helpful expectations on what I would recieve back for the pain and suffering after the accident.