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Falls threaten an aging population

Protecting oneself from slip-and-fall accidents may seem like a full-time job in the often chaotic modern world. Now that Americans are experiencing unprecedented life expectancy, as revealed by Time Magazine, it could be even more vital to be cautious to prevent injuries that may have lasting consequences. With potential lifespans topping 78 years, people would be well advised to keep the risks of falling in mind as they age.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that injuries caused by a fall include traumatic brain injury, hip fractures and broken bones. Furthermore, when older people suffer a fall, their chances of falling again will double. It is estimated that every year, one in three people over the age of 65 will experience a fall. Following are some of the facts concerning falls:

  •           Injuries from falls lead to more than $34 billion per year in medical expenses.
  •          Every year, falls require hospitalization for more than 700,000 people.
  •          Emergency rooms see more than 2.5 million people over 65 every year.
  •          Broken hips, which are caused by falls over 95 percent of the time, send in excess of 250,000 people over 65 to the hospital every year.

There are some steps that could help reduce falling-related dangers, including the following: 

  •          Addressing potential vision deficiencies
  •          Performing exercises to build balance and strength
  •          Safeguarding against drowsiness and other possible, negative effects of medication
  •          Having a plan made to address falling risks identified during a medical assessment

Of course, the actions of others could end up causing a person to fall and suffer an injury. Whether due to a wet floor or another dangerous property condition, circumstances that may create premises liability could be actionable. Time is of the essence after a slip-and-fall accident to ensure one’s legal rights are protected.

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