Have you ever fallen down in public? It can be very embarrassing if you’re young and fit it may be easier to get back up and keep going, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, falling is the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries of adults aged 65 and older. If you, or someone close to you, is approaching or recently entered that age group, it’s important to understand the causes of slip and falls and know that there are ways to prevent such incidents from occurring.
Causes of Slip and Falls
The most obvious causes of falls are slipping on loose debris or wet pavement, or an unseen obstacle. Other causes may include dizziness from a change in medication; changes in eyesight or hearing which can lead to loss of depth-perception or imbalance. Environmental conditions can also lead to falls, such as poor lighting, loose floor-coverings, or lack of proper handrails or grab-bars.
Most people think first of hip fractures when they think of injuries from falls. Fractures are also common in the arms, hands, legs, feet, and ankles. Head trauma and spinal injuries are also frightening injuries that can be caused by a fall. Less serious injuries from falls may include cuts and bruises.
Injuries from falls can lead to lengthy hospital stays and high medical bills. If the victim is still working, there may be a loss of income as well. Fear of future falling incidents may instill a fear of going out at all, adding to loss of mobility and independence. This can make moving into an assisted-living facility the only option for many seniors who might otherwise have been able to continue living on their own.
Take Steps to Prevent a Slip and Fall
Wear low-heeled shoes with rubber soles and tight laces or Velcro fasteners. If your doctor has recommended a cane, walker, or wheelchair, make sure you understand the correct usage, and use them as much as possible. Use handrails and grab-bars in public places, and have them installed in your own home.
If you’ve been lying down or sitting for a long period, be sure to stand up slowly to avoid dizziness. . If you live alone, make it a habit to check in daily with a family member or neighbor. If you do fall, it’s reassuring to know that someone will check on you if they haven’t heard from you.
Following these pointers may protect you or someone you love from being injured in a fall, but remember that you do have legal rights if you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. If you’ve been injured in a fall and would like to discuss your case with an attorney who specializes in personal injuries, contact Glaser and Ebbs Personal Injury Attorneys at Law.