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Why Are Slips and Falls So Dangerous for Seniors?

Posted on - Wednesday, June 8, 2016 under FAQ, Slip and Fall Why Are Slips and Falls So Dangerous for Seniors?

When we fall as kids, we may get a scrape or two fixed by a Band-Aid and a kiss from mom or maybe a cast signed by all our friends. When seniors trip or slip and fall, however, the consequences are often much more serious and can be fatal.

Falls are perhaps the biggest single health risk facing seniors as a whole. Consider these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • 5 million seniors are treated in emergency rooms every year for injuries from falls.
  • One in three adults over age 65 fall every year
  • Such falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries amongst older adults.
  • The risk for being serious hurt from a fall jumps increases nearly four-fold between ages 65 and 74.
  • In 2011, about 22,900 adults died from unintentional injuries resulting from falls.
  • From 2000-2013, the age-adjusted fall injury death rate among the elderly nearly doubled, from 29.6 to 56.7 per 100,000
  • Falls can have such serious consequences for seniors because many seniors are frail or have pre-existing vulnerabilities, medical conditions, or disabilities such that even minor falls can impact those conditions and lead to further complications. Seniors’ bodies generally just do not handle or recover from trauma as effectively as they used to.

The vast majority of falls involving seniors happen in the home. The National Safety Council recommends the following to help protect seniors at home from the risk of falls:

  • Remove clutter, small furniture, pet gear, electrical cords, throw rugs and anything else that might cause someone to trip
  • Arrange or remove furniture so there is plenty of room for walking
  • Secure carpets to the floor
  • Wipe up spills immediately
  • Make sure outdoor areas are well lit and walkways are smooth and free from ice
  • Use non-slip adhesive strips on stairs
  • Use non-skid mats or appliques in the bath and shower
  • Install grab bars in the tub, shower and near the toilet
  • Install railings on both sides of stairs
  • Provide adequate lighting in every room and stairway
  • Place nightlights in kitchen, bath and hallways
  • Make often-used items more accessible, like food, clothing, etc., so an older person won’t be tempted to use a stool or ladder to get to them
  • If necessary, provide personal walking devices, such as a cane or walker, to aid in stability

For many older adults, the fear of falling can actually increase the chances of an actual fall. Fear can cause seniors to reduce their movement and activity, which can lead to physical weakness. Seniors can reduce their fear of falling, and reduce the risk of falls generally by working on their physical strength and balance through regular exercise and activities such as tai chi.

At The Parian Law Firm in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we represent injury victims exclusively and are committed to getting justice and compensation for our clients. If your child has been injured in a bounce house or inflatable, please contact us at (770) 727-5550 or chat live online with a member of our staff today.