Slip and Fall Injuries and the Elderly

How many of us have known an elderly relative or friend that has suffered from a slip and fall injury?  Unfortunately, these types of injuries are very common among the age group of 65 and older.  One in every three adults over the age of 65 falls every year. 

How can these types of falls be prevented, what types of injuries occur as a result and what types of precautions should homes and businesses take to limit these types of accidents?

Elderly slip and fall statistics

  • According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there were approximately 2.3 million nonfatal falls among older adults requiring treatment in an emergency room in 2010. 662,000 were hospitalized resulting in medical bills of over 30 billion dollars.
  • People age 75 and older are more likely to be admitted to a long term care facility after a slip and fall than someone within the age range of 65 to 74.
  • 95% of all hip fractures are a result of slip and fall injury.
  • Once an elderly person suffers a serious slip and fall injury, it is likely that within 6 months it could occur again and result in the same injury.

The most common type of injuries resulting from an elderly person having a slip and fall accident are head trauma, hip fractures, lacerations and even death.  Did you know that nearly half of elderly slip and fall injuries go unreported?  It is best to always get checked out after a fall because you may not even realize that you are seriously injured.  Many times, elderly walk around with serious concussions.  Often, they are afraid if they say much, a family member may feel they should no longer live alone.

A business as well as a home should be responsible for making certain their place is as safe as possible and precautions are taken to prevent slip and fall injuries.  Below are some suggestions from the National Safety Council.

  • Always wipe up a spill immediately
  • Watch out for rugs! While they can make a room look nice, they are also very hazardous for the elderly.
  • Remove any type of tripping hazards from walkways and doorways. Don't think "oh – I should have moved that box" Just move it right away!
  • Secure phone and electrical cords out of the way of traffic
  • Place nonskid mats in bathtubs.
  • Place hand guards and rails where necessary.
  • Never stand on chairs or stools that have wheels!

The most common places for slip and fall injuries to occur are doorways and walkways, ramps, stairs, ladders, unstable work surfaces, areas with heavy traffic, uneven surfaces, and unguarded heights.

Have you or one of your loved ones experienced personal injury from a slip and fall accident that you believe could have been prevented had the owner of the home or business done what they should have?  Premises liability can be an incredibly tricky law and it is wise to have an experienced attorney review your case. 

Please contact Denver slip & fall attorney R. Mack Babcock for a free consulation.  Also, if you have any other questions regarding slip and falls or other related cases, feel free to continue browsing our blog and knowledge center.

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