Slip and fall accidents can happen to people of all age groups and occupations, but elderly adults are most likely to suffer serious, life-threatening injuries and deaths.
Seniors Face High Fatality Risks from Falls
Slip and falls are the most common cause of non-fatal injuries in the home and the workplace for all age groups, but people over the age of 65 are twice as likely to sustain severe injuries and fatalities. Due to balance problems, vision impairments, deteriorating muscle strength, and fragile bones, elderly adults are in a high-risk group for slip and fall accidents.
According to the National Council on Aging, an elderly adult is treated in a hospital emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds, and those numbers are likely much higher because 50% of elderly fall victims don’t report them or see a doctor for treatment. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 300,000 seniors over the age of 65 are hospitalized for serious hip fractures every year, and 50% of those patients never fully recover from their injuries.
Slip and fall injury lawyers commonly see falls that result in a variety of injuries, including:
- Fractured and broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Slipped discs
- Spinal cord damage
- Hip fractures
- Head trauma and brain injuries
For seniors, these types of injuries often lead to serious complications due to underlying health conditions that slow or prevent proper healing. Many elderly adults who suffer slip and falls face declining health, ongoing medical care, life-long disabilities, and death. Currently, one elderly person dies from his/her fall injuries every 19 minutes in the U.S. CDC research projects that by 2030, 59,000 American seniors will die from a fall, that’s 162 senior deaths per day.
While elderly adults have increased risks for slip and fall injuries, falling is not a normal part of aging. Most falls in the home can be prevented by eliminating fall hazards like slippery floors, damaged carpets, throw rugs, faulty stair treads and railings, and dim lighting. Simple home modifications like eliminating clutter and installing non-slip flooring and bathroom grab bars can significantly decrease the risks of falls.
Chicago slip and fall injury lawyers often see falls among the elderly caused by dizziness or drowsiness, common side effects of many medications. To prevent falls, seniors taking regular medications or starting new medications should discuss potential side effects with their doctor.