Slip and Falls Prove Leading Cause of Injuries for Older AmericansJune 21, 2018
As we age it just so happens that our reflexes regress a bit. Our vision worsens, our bone density weakens, and our quick reaction time isn’t quite as quick as it used to be. That’s why it’s not all too surprising that slip and falls are the leading cause of injuries for older Americans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the statistics are astounding. One in four Americans aged 65 and older falls each year, with an older adult being treated in the emergency room every 11 seconds. These emergency department visits account for more than 2.8 million injuries annually, and as the older population (think “Baby Boomers”) continues to grow larger, the financial toll for these falls may even reach $67.7 billion by 2020.
Common Risks and Results
Although aging factors such as poor posture, infrequent activity, poor vision, slow reaction time, impaired balance, side effects from medications, and previous injuries can contribute, environmental hazards can also become extremely dangerous for the elderly. Such hazards include slippery floors, uneven surfaces such as bumps in carpet, and poor lighting.
With weakened bone density, hip fractures are one of the most common injuries that older Americans suffer from as a result of falling. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), citing a 2009 study from The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 20-30% of elderly people who experience a hip fracture will die within one year of the injury due to complications, reduced mobility, depression, and death. This does not account for the many more individuals who will experience significant functional loss, such as the 90% of those who required no assistance prior, needing help post-fall.
So, What Can You Do?
To help combat these injuries, the CDC has created the Stop Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI) initiative for prevention. Based on clinical guidelines, the initiative provides resources and information for patients and caregivers including:
- Online training
- Videos for conducting functional assessments
- Informational brochures
- Information on screening for falls
You may have a case if the careless or negligent conduct of someone has led to your injury. Though we cannot control or always be aware of the negligent dangers caused by others, there are things that the older population can do to put themselves at a lesser risk for succumbing to a hip fracture or falling in the first place:
- Exercise Daily
- Eat Healthfully
- Keep the floor clear of unnecessary items
- Stay on top of medications
- Wear appropriate footwear
- Clean up spills
- Enhance lighting
If you have experienced a slip and fall injury, you should call a personal injury attorney to discuss your options. If you have initiated a lawsuit but worry about your ability to keep up with all your expenses while the case is pending, you should then call USClaims.
At USClaims, we offer pre-settlement funding, purchasing a portion of the proceeds of your anticipated court judgment or settlement. This means that injured individuals and their families will not be at risk of having to pay back a high-cost loan should your civil suit be unsuccessful. USClaims only gets paid if you win or reach a settlement! Call us today at 1-877-USCLAIMS to learn more.