Falls are common amongst all age groups. Anyone can trip and lose their balance from time to time. Almost one-third of all injuries across the country are a result of falls. Most people find that falls are an inconvenience and a silly embarrassment with minor bumps and bruises. Others can have more significant injuries and for mature adults, falls can mean death.
Older Adults And Falls
As we age our muscle tone decreases which in turn, leads to balance issues. Our vision becomes weaker so it isn’t as easy to spot hazards. Those individuals over the age of 65 have the highest risk for falls that lead to serious injuries that can impact their life, if not take it.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), deadly falls are common in older adults. Every 20 minutes an elderly individual will lose their life as a result of a fall, while many more are injured. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that:
- More than a quarter of older adults fall each year and most won’t tell their medical provider.
- Fall-related injuries affect older adults significantly enough that there are approximately 3 million cases seen in emergency departments across the nation.
- Every year there are over 800,000 hospitalizations from fall injuries. Head injuries and hip fractures are the leading injuries suffered.
When To Talk To Your Doctor About A Fall
Sometimes prescriptions can be the cause of instability on one’s feet. If you have been falling more often, it is important to talk with your doctor to see what you could do to be safer. It is also important for your doctor to take a look at the medications you are on. Both the prescription medications and anything you are taking over-the-counter. It may be that you have a vitamin D deficiency which is linked to falls. Or you may need to change the strength of the medicines you are taking. It could also be that the combinations of medications you take are affecting you negatively and causing your falls.
Speaking with your doctor can provide you with a plethora of information as to why you may be falling and how to reduce future falls. A doctor will also check your vision during an exam. Potentially, the addition of a walking aid could make a big impact on keeping you on your feet. Walking aids can not only keep older people safe but they can improve their quality of life by allowing them to be more mobile.
How To Reduce Falls
There are several things you can do at home to reduce falls.
- Keep the home clean and clear all clutter on the floor.
- Change the furniture set up to make for more room to move about.
- Make everyday items in an easy to access location
- Use grab bars on your bathtub and shower, next to the toilet, and always have rails on any stairs.
- Use a walking aid if necessary.
- Keep your environment well-lit.
When you are out of the home, it is the responsibility of other property owners and businesses to exercise a duty of care to how they maintain their property. If there are hazards, for instance, they need to make it known to anyone that may enter their property via signage, for instance. They need to make sure that slippery surfaces are cleared or marked, debris and clutter removed, etc.
If a property or business owner doesn’t properly maintain their premises and a person is injured from a fall on that property, the owner can be held liable for the damages. The Roscoe slip and fall accident lawyers at Alexander J. Smith Law Offices can help you determine if your accident situation is viable for a slip and fall injury claim. The resourceful Janesville personal injury lawyers at Alexander J. Smith are committed to providing the best legal representation to victims of accidents in Wisconsin and Illinois. Call us today to set up a free consultation at (608) 237-7035 for residents of Wisconsin or (815) 2439686 for residents of Illinois. One of our highly knowledgeable Wisconsin and Illinois slip and fall injury attorneys will discuss your accident experience with you and advise you on a successful path to move forward with a claim.