With an increasing senior population in Georgia, public spaces should be re- evaluating fall accident risks, especially those involving elderly citizens. Whenever a person falls, they are at significant risk of personal injury and even wrongful death. While often overlooked, improving protections against fall is an important step in preventing slip and fall accidents.
A new report finds that just 5 simple and basic steps can help reduce the risk of slip and falls involving the elderly. The results of the study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews says that as many as a third of elderly people suffer slip and fall accidents every year and many of these falls occur in the person’s own home. However, the basic risks involved remain the same, whether it is a home or a public property. Cluttered floors, lack of illumination, and lack of adequate handrail systems contribute to a large number of all slip and fall accidents involving senior citizens every year. In addition, guardrails are important to preventing slip and falls on stairs which often result in catastrophic personal injury.
According to the report, the five basic steps that can help reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents include decluttering floors, lowering slip and trip threats, installing appropriate hand- rail systems wherever necessary, improving lighting in corridors and stairwells and installing non – slip material on staircases. Taking these five simple measures, according to the report, can lead to a 38% reduced drop in the risk of slip and fall accidents involving the elderly.
Interestingly enough, the report also found that certain other measures that are often cited as ways to reduce slip and fall risks in the elderly like investing in prescription glasses, did not necessarily reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents involving older people. Making them wear special footwear also did not make much of a difference in reducing their slip and fall risks. Although the study did not identify these as measures statistically impacting outcomes, antidotally, these measures are known to prevent falls and should be done.
It is not just the home environment that presents slip and fall risks for senior citizens. A supermarket or grocery store can hide slip and fall risks that especially make older persons vulnerable. Additionally, apartment buildings can come with handrails that are not effective, broken or defective staircases, stairways that lack anti -slip properties or guardrails and other such risks that significantly increase the threat of a slip and fall accident.
A slip and fall accident can be a serious occurrence for a senior citizen. Even a simple fall can result in a hip fracture which can mean the difference between an independent life, and one that is confined to a mobility device. Not only does a fall accident result in injuries that impair a person’s health and mobility, but the risk of dying significantly increases in the year after the injury.
The Atlanta attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in an accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in an accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages. You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages. Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.