Awareness Campaign Focuses Attention on Slip and Fall Accidents and Senior Citizens
Last week, across the country and Georgia, senior citizens, healthcare agencies, and community organizations observed Falls Prevention Awareness Week, which is marked to raise awareness about the risks to seniors from fall accidents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year 1 in 3 senior citizens aged 65 and above, suffer from a fall accident. Of these, 20 to 30 percent will suffer injuries that are severe enough to impact their ability to lead active, independent lives. While slip and fall accidents can happen to just about anyone, these are more common in senior citizens who may have a variety of health issues that can increase the risk of a fall. Seniors may struggle with proper balance and gait, may have vision problems and a host of other issues that can impact their ability to prevent a fall. Also, seniors have a much higher risk of being seriously injured in a slip and fall accident than young adults or children.
For instance, as people age, they begin to lose mineral density in their bones, creating a condition called osteoporosis in which the bones become brittle, and are prone to breaking. When a senior adult who suffers from this condition falls, there is a greater risk of bone fractures. These fractures may take a longer time to heal because of the senior’s advanced years. Seniors may also suffer from other medical complications that are exacerbated by the fall.
Slip and fall accidents can result in huge costs to patients. A person who has been injured in a fall can expect hospitalization expenses, doctor’s fees, medication costs, X-rays and diagnostics costs, physical therapy expenses and other related medical expenses. Patients may lose income because of days lost from work while they recuperate. When a patient returns home, he may find that he needs enhancements made to his house to help him enjoy the mobility he did before.
The CDC has the following steps for seniors to prevent fall accidents.
Exercise. It strengthens bones and improves your sense of balance.
Make sure that your medications are not placing you at risk for dizziness of drowsiness.
Make sure that you see your eye specialist for an eye test regularly.
Fall-proof your home by installing bright lights, and placing mats on shower and bath tub floors. Add railings on both sides of your stairs. Don’t forget the outdoor stairs. Install grab bars inside your shower or tub.
The Atlanta slip and fall accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent victims injured in slip and fall accidents in Atlanta and across Georgia.