Why Are Slip and Falls So Dangerous for Older Persons?

old woman injured after falling and hand on her head

Slip and fall accidents are a serious problem for individuals of all ages but can be especially dangerous for older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of 4 older people ages 65 and older fall every year.

In fact, falls are responsible for over 800,000 hospitalizations each year by those aged 65 or older, usually due to a head or hip injury. Let's look closer at why slip and falls become increasingly dangerous as we age.

The Physical Effects of Slips & Falls on Aging Bodies

Aging bodies are more prone to slips and falls due to physical changes that occur as we get older. Reduced vision, weakened muscles, balance issues, and slower reaction time can all contribute to slip and fall accidents. The CDC reports that one in five falls results in a broken bone or head injury. These types of injuries, especially regarding older people, can lead to long-term health problems such as:

  • Chronic pain
  • Physical disability
  • Reduced mobility
  • Depression
  • Premature death

Why Are Hip Fractures So Serious?

Hip fractures are one of the most severe injuries associated with elder falls. Because many older individuals suffer from osteoporosis, their bones can become brittle and break easily upon impact. The CDC reports that women, who are more likely to develop osteoporosis, experience three-quarters of total hip fractures.

The Journal of Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation noted that seniors who experience a hip fracture are more likely to die (14 to 58 percent) within a year due to complications such as infection or pulmonary embolism.

Common Causes of Elder Slip and Falls

Property owners have an obligation to maintain safe conditions on their premises, yet they are often negligent when it comes to slip and fall hazards. Common causes of slips and falls among seniors include:

  • Wet floors
  • Icy sidewalks
  • Poor lighting
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Torn carpets or rugs
  • Electrical cords in walkways
  • Inadequate handrails

When property owners fail to address these hazardous conditions or warn visitors about them, they can open themselves up to liability for any injuries that occur as a result of a slip and fall accident. Therefore, it is important for property owners to practice safe premises management so as not to put elderly visitors at risk of sustaining serious injuries from slips and falls.

Seeking Compensation with the Help of Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.

At Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P., we understand the physical and emotional challenges that slips and falls can bring to elderly individuals. That's why we are here to help if you or a loved one has experienced an injury due to a slip and fall accident. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will review your case, help you determine liability, and maximize your potential compensation.

Contact us today at (775) 227-2280 for a free initial consultation.

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