Slip and fall accidents are dangerous and commonplace among older adults. In fact, one in three adults age 65 or older slip and fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Because the risk of falling increases as people age, it’s important to take simple safety measures for preventing falls in the elderly in Denver so that your loved ones stay safe and independent.
Elderly Slip and Fall Injuries
Falling injuries often cause or lead to fatality in older people. Death rates from falling are the rise in the U.S., and over 21,000 older adults died from accidental falls in 2010, the CDC reports.
Below are some of the injuries most common in elderly slip and fall accidents.
- hip fractures.
- traumatic brain injuries.
- spinal fractures.
- and, fractures of the leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand.
However, there are also additional repercussions of a fall, even if they don’t cause injury. When older adults fall, they may “develop a fear of falling. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, and in turn increases their actual risk of falling,” explains the CDC. Preventing falls in the elderly may be a deterrent to future risk as well.
Preventing Falls in the Elderly in Denver: Know the Risk Factors
Understanding some of the risk factors for falls is an important part of fall prevention in the elderly. Age itself is a risk factor for falling and the older an individual is, the greater the likelihood that a fall will lead to admittance into a long-term facility center. According to the CDC, people over age 75 who fall are four to five times more likely to be admitted to a care facility for a year or longer than those ages 65 to 74.
Also, gender may factor into falling accidents. Men are 40 percent more likely to die from a fall, but women are twice as likely to suffer fractures from falling, the CDC reports.
Ethnicity may factor into falling risk as well. Elderly white individuals are 2.4 times more likely to die from a falling accident than black individuals. Likewise, non-Hispanics also have higher fatality rates in general compared with Hispanics.
Tips for Preventing Falls in the Elderly in Denver
There are several things you can do to help prevent falls in the elderly.
- Encourage them to exercise regularly. The Silver Sneakers program found at local gyms and community centers all throughout Denver, doctor-recommended stretches and strength training exercises, and Tai Chi may be all viable options. This improves strength and balance. Just get doctor approval before starting any fitness routine.
- Have their doctor review their medications. Certain medications or drug interactions could cause nausea and dizziness that increases the risk of falling.
- Ensure their eyeglass prescription is adequate. If they can’t see the obstacles, they can’t sidestep them.
- Reduce the hazards in the home and in their surroundings. Make sure stairs have railings, there are no loose carpets or rugs, the lighting is sufficient, and the bathrooms have grab bars.
In the Event of a Slip or Fall Accident, You May Need Legal Help…
Elderly fall prevention efforts may only go so far, especially if the fall is related to another’s negligence. If your loved one was injured in a slip and fall accident, a negligence claim for financial compensation might be in order. To determine your loved one’s legal options, contact the law office of D.J. Banovitz in Denver. Call 303-300-5060 for a free, no-obligation consultation.