Some occupations and age groups, including elders, are prone to slips and falls. These incidents are widespread among seniors, with over one out of four elders suffering from falls annually. Additionally, suffering a fall injury could double the chances of a similar incident happening again.
These incidents might be a minor concern for most people, but elders are more likely to sustain severe injuries from falls. Around three million seniors receive medical care for fall injuries every year. Due to their age and often fragile physical conditions, they tend to sustain serious injuries, including broken bones, hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries. Even if they break their falls, they might suffer injuries to their wrists or ankles, depending on the circumstances.
Researchers identified multiple risk factors that are usually present among seniors, including the following:
- Weakness of lower body
- Vitamin deficiency, especially vitamin D
- Balancing problems
- Difficulty walking
- Potential grogginess or dizziness due to medication
- Poor vision
- Foot issues causing pain
- Obstructed walkways
- Poorly designed infrastructure
Unfortunately, these fall injuries could be costly, becoming unbearable for seniors. In 2015 alone, the total medical expenses for fall injuries reached over $50 billion. Out of this total, only 75% received coverage from Medicare and Medicaid. These expenses might be too much for an elder with limited financial resources.
Protecting elders from severe falls
Health care providers advise elders and family members to remove fall risk factors. However, they might not be able to do so in public. Still, they could file a claim if someone else’s negligence or recklessness contributed to a senior’s fall injury. Doing so could help the patient pursue compensation and cover bills for medical treatments they need to recover fully.