The death of Leonard Cohen, a singer and songwriter from Canada, in November 2016 has put a spotlight of the dangers of falls for the elderly. While he died peacefully in his sleep, his death occurred after a fall. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of four older people—those who are 65 years old or older—falls each year. In addition, 2.8 million seniors are treated in emergency rooms and 800,000 are hospitalized annually for injuries suffered in falls. Unfortunately, when older people fall in a slip and fall accident, they are at higher risk of suffering more devastating injuries or dying than younger victims of these accidents.
Why Are Falls So Dangerous for Seniors?
Older people have medical conditions and other issues like body weakness, difficulty walking and maintaining balance, and vision problems, that make it more likely they will fall. When they do get hurt, they can suffer many injuries. Broken bones in the wrist, arm, ankle, or leg and more serious hip fractures are a likely result. In addition, falls are a common cause of traumatic brain injuries, which can result in the senior experiencing long-term changes to his vision, reasoning, emotions, memory and other mental abilities.
Seniors face higher short-term and long-term risks from falls, which is why slip and fall accidents are so dangerous for them. Some of these risk factors include:
- Older people are often frail and can suffer with other medical conditions or disabilities that can cause them to suffer more severe and even fatal injuries if they fall.
- Seniors have a slower recovery time, and sometimes given their health, are unable to recover fully from their injuries.
- Complications can develop, which can be even more serious than the initial injuries the senior suffered from the fall, and may sometimes be the cause of death.
- When the elderly fall and suffer a head injury, the head injury can cause life-threatening intracranial bleeding.
- Even broken bones can become more serious if small bone fractures travel to the lungs and cause lung embolisms and other life-threatening conditions.
- If the senior needs surgery, this can also increase the risk of blood clots in the person’s lungs.
- Seniors are more likely to be sedentary for longer periods of time while they recover, increasing the danger of blood clots, heart disease, lung disease, and other medical disorders.
If you slipped and fell at a business or other property due to the owner’s negligence, you need an experienced slip and fall attorney who can help you obtain the compensation you could deserve. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.