American seniors are suffering slip and fall injuries at much higher rates than just a couple of decades ago. According to a new study, there has been a two – fold increase in the rate of fatal slip and fall accidents involving seniors since 1999.
The study focused on seniors above the age of 65, and found that fatal slip and fall accident rates have risen for both males and females and across all racial groups. The study found that in 1999, there had been 10,100 deaths from slip and fall accidents involving seniors, and in 2020, that number had increased to 36,500. The rate of slip and fall – related deaths involving this very vulnerable age category increased from 29 for every 100,000 persons in 1999 to 69 for every 100,000 persons in 2020.
White males recorded the highest increase with approximately 78 deaths for every 100,000 persons in the year 2020. Death rates also increased for other categories, including Hispanics and African American seniors. Obviously, these results are concerning, and even more so because they do not seem to be talked about enough. Senior slip and fall risks are not much of a priority for health authorities, and the results are clear to see.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 25% of Americans above the age of 65 suffer slip and fall accidents every year. Not all of these falls will be fatal. In fact, seniors who survive slip and fall accidents are often left with catastrophic personal injuries that significantly reduce their quality of life and possibly even increase their risk of death in the months after. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 3 million seniors above the age of 65 require emergency care every year after suffering a slip and fall and more than 800,000 people require hospitalization as a result of their injuries. Serious falls involving senior citizens cost approximately $50 billion in medical costs every year.
In Georgia, in 2021, the adult fatal slip and fall accident rate was 58.8 for every 100,000 persons with 771 senior fatalities from falls that year.
The researchers speculate that there are a number of reasons driving this increase in fatal falls. For one thing, many seniors now survive conditions like heart attacks and strokes which earlier would have directly resulted in death. However, they may suffer from health effects from the heart attack or stroke that increase their risk of a fall in the months after the these medical issues. Another reason could be that so many seniors are now on multiple medications which could have possible side effects including dizziness, confusion, loss of balance and gait.
If you are a senior, make sure that you get medical screenings regularly and get your vision tested during the same time. If your medication is making you drowsy or dizzy, talk to your doctor about substitutes.
The Atlanta slip and fall accident lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries in slip and fall accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across the state of Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a fall accident, talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your options for a legal claim for damages.