Who hasn’t slipped and fallen in public? While embarrassing, the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) finds that falling is the number one cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for adults 65 and older. If you or someone you love is reaching this age group, it’s very important to understand the common causes of falls and know how to prevent them.
Falls can happen anywhere, including at home, in the yard, and in public. Slip and fall accidents are common in malls, grocery stores, restaurants, swimming pools, and even doctors’ offices.
What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents?
While the most obvious cause of these accidents is slipping on wet pavement or tripping over an object, other causes include health issues, such as dizziness from medication; changes in eyesight that leads to lost depth perception; osteoporosis which reduces stability and bone strength; and leg or foot pain. Poor lighting, loose flooring, and a lack handrails or grab bars can also cause slip and fall accidents. Serious Injuries from Falls
Hip fractures are a very real danger of a fall, but fractures may also occur in the hands, feet, ankles, legs, and arms. Spinal injuries and head trauma may also be caused by a fall. The Journal of Neurotrauma found an increasing number of fall-related spinal cord injuries among older Americans.
A fall can lead to serious injuries that require a long hospital stay and high medical expenses. If the victim is still employed, the accident may also cause a loss of income. Many victims of a serious fall are left with a fear of another incident and lose mobility and independence. For many seniors who would otherwise be able to continue living alone, an assisted living facility becomes the only option left.
Preventing Slip and Falls
The good news is many falls and injuries can be prevented completely. The first step is a checkup with the doctor to discuss any recent near-falls and review your medications. Discuss any side effects from your medication that you are experiencing, and whether your medication may be causing instability or dizziness. You should also visit your eye doctor and have your prescription checked.
It’s also important to keep your weight under control, as a healthy weight can improve flexibility, balance, and strength. You should also work with your healthcare provider to find exercises that are safe for you or a group program.
Use any physical aids that may improve your mobility, along with low-heeled shoes with tight laces and rubber soles. If your doctor recommends you use a walker or cane, make sure you understand how to use it properly and never leave home without it. Always use handrails and grab-bars in public, and have them installed in your home. This is especially important in the bathroom, where most slip and fall accidents occur at home.
Whenever you are sitting or lying down for an extended amount of time, stand up slowly to avoid getting dizzy. Check the weather before leaving the house and be careful to avoid wet or icy paths and parking lots. If you live at home, check in with neighbors or family members every day and consider a safety device that allows you to contact help if you fall.
Hurt in a Slip and Fall? Contact Mike Agruss Law
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident due to the negligence of someone else, contact Mike Agruss Law, for a free consultation. We are a personal injury law firm representing individuals and families who have suffered an injury or loss due to an accident. Mike Agruss Law, will handle your personal injury case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you.
Lastly, Mike Agruss Law, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire us–just the opportunity to seek justice.