According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those who are 65 and older are particularly vulnerable to falling. In fact, the CDC’s data shows that one in four, or several million individuals of this age, fall on an annual basis. Only half of them report these incidents to their doctors even though falling just once puts them at a higher risk of doing so again. This is a preventable type of accident though.
Several factors put individuals age 65 and older at an increased risk of falling. Lower body weakness, foot pain and vision problems may all cause an individual to experience difficulty in maintaining balance or walking. Poorly designed footwear, cluttered spaces and tattered or improperly secured rugs or carpet can also cause falls.
Individuals who take some over-the-counter medicines may experience balance problems. Those who take prescription drugs such as antidepressants or sedatives may have a poor equilibrium too. Seniors who consume too little Vitamin D may also struggle with balance issues and suffer serious injuries if they fall.
Some of the more common injuries that result from falls include fractured hips, arms, wrists and ankles. Head injuries also happen quite frequently. At least 20 percent of all falls result in one of these.
Of the 800,000 individuals who are hospitalized for falls each year in the U.S., most of them happen because the patient suffers a head injury or a hip fracture. At least 300,000 occur because of the latter. All but 5% of these happen when an individual falls sideways.
Slips and falls don’t just happen at home, but instead, they can happen virtually anywhere. It’s possible for them to occur on slippery surfaces at grocery stores, assisted living facilities, nursing homes or anywhere else in New York City. An attorney may advise you of your right to recover medical costs and other damages if you’ve been seriously hurt.