You may know that falls are the leading cause of injury among older Americans. Each year, more than 1.5 million Americans over the age of 65 visit emergency rooms for slip-and fall-related injuries; 400,000 are hospitalized.
There are several reasons why the elderly are especially vulnerable to falls? These include:
- Slowed reflexes
- Delays in reaction time
- Loss of muscle mass
- Changes in balance
- Vision changes
- Medication side effects
Although some of the changes that come with age are inevitable, slip-and-fall accidents don’t have to be part of aging. These tips can help you and your loved ones to prevent slip-and-fall injury.
- Reduce fall hazards in the home – Keep the home well lit. Replace any burnt out light bulbs. Keep floors clear of clutter and debris. Remove any unstable furniture. Use non-slip mats in the bathroom, kitchen, and on slippery surfaces. Install grab bars and handrails on stairs and in bathrooms.
- Exercise regularly – Regular exercise will improve your balance and strengthen your muscles. Try light exercise such as walking, chair-based yoga, or tai chi.
- Discuss your medications with your doctor – Ask your doctor whether your medications have side effects. Tell him about any changes in vision, changes in balance, dizziness or vertigo. You may be able to try a different medicine with fewer side-effects.
Falls are serious. Nearly 30 percent of seniors lose mobility and independence after a Pennsylvania slip-and-fall accident. Seniors who fall are five times more likely to be admitted to a nursing home.
Most slip-and-fall accidents are preventable. Unfortunately, most falls among the elderly are caused by the negligence of property owners. If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident while shopping, banking, or even visiting a doctor, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact Mednick, Mezyk & Kredo, P.C., at 888-807-WORK (9675) to learn more about your rights. There is no cost for the consultation.