Seniors and Fall Hazards
The elderly are at an increased risk of slipping and falling. Not only are they generally less steady on their feet, but vision and hearing impairments can compromise their ability to navigate safely between distances. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 25% of seniors aged 65 or older fall every year.
Falls frequently result in serious injuries, which can take our senior citizens much longer to recover from. For example, fractured ribs are associated with increased risk of pneumonia and death, and many people report sending a loved one to the hospital after a fall only for them not to return home. Below, we identify some of the more serious fall hazards that confront the elderly.
Small animals can run in between someone’s feet or jump up on someone. Unfortunately, seniors have slower reflexes and less ability to regain balance if they are suddenly thrown off stride. No one wants to deprive a senior of a loved pet, but you’ll need to address pet safety if a loved one trips over the dog or cat.
Low Toilet Seats
It can take a lot of leg strength for a person to lower themselves onto a toilet and then get back up. Seniors are at an increased risk of falling when trying to get on or off the toilet. One option is to install a toilet that sits higher than regular toilets. Another option is to install arms that the senior can grasp—though arms are only helpful if they have sufficient arm strength to lift themselves.
Cords that crisscross the floor or run in front of doorways are a danger to anyone, regardless of age. However, seniors are more prone to forgetting the cords are there in the first place and probably cannot quickly regain their footing if they trip. Remember to keep power cords as close to the wall as possible. Another option is to run power cords along the wall so they are off the floor.
Rugs present many challenges for the elderly, who might trip over the edges or over bunched up ridges in the rug. Also, small throw rugs tend to be very unstable. They often sit atop slippery laminate flooring, so the rug can quickly slide out from under someone’s feet.
Many medications can decrease stability. Take a look at your loved one’s medications and check whether they could individually or collectively cause light-headedness, fatigue, or dizziness. If so, then you might need to change prescriptions. If no changes can be made, then try to find out when your loved one is most unsteady after taking medication and encourage them to stay off their feet for those times.
Volusia County Slip and Fall Attorneys
After a fall, seniors can suffer broken bones, head injuries, nerve damage, as well as severe emotional distress. Many are afraid to visit the place where they fell out of fear that they might fall again.
If your loved one fell in a nursing home, business, hotel, or other establishment, they might be entitled to compensation. To check, please contact a Florida slip and fall attorney at Bundza & Rodriguez today. You can call 386-252-5170 to schedule a free consultation.