Posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 at 6:30 pm    

Science Daily reports on a new study from researchers at the University of Waterloo that found elderly individuals require twice as long to realize they are falling compared to younger adults. This delay in the realization they are falling puts the seniors at an increased risk for serious injuries, according to the study.

When you fall, you typically react in ways that can minimize the risk of injury from the impact. However, if an older adult experiences a delay in realizing they are falling, the delay leaves that person less time to react. In other words, a senior may not have the time to take actions that could lessen the impact and prevent severe injury.

Falls Are Leading Cause of Injury for Seniors

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for seniors in the United States is falling. Approximately, 25 percent of Americans over the age of 65 years experiences a fall each year. Annually, falls result in about 2.8 million injuries leading to 27,000 deaths and 800,000 hospitalizations. The cost of falls in seniors in 2014 was $31 billion. That figure is expected to grow to roughly $68 billion by 2020.

Falls can lead to depression and severe financial burdens in addition to physical pain and emotional trauma. It is important to take precautions to avoid falls. Tips for preventing falls for seniors include:

  • Review medications to determine if they can cause dizziness or other side effects that can make a senior more prone to falls. While you may not be able to avoid taking medication, knowing the side effects can help when setting up precautions for falls.
  • Modifications in the home can help reduce falls. Fall-proofing your home may include adding additional lighting, securing rugs to floors, installing grab bars, and keeping floors clear of debris.
  • Have periodic vision examinations to update corrective lenses when necessary to improve vision.
  • Remove tripping hazards such as throw rugs, loose carpet, furniture, and other items that can make it difficult to navigate around the home.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing that drags on the ground or can become tangled between legs.
  • Wear shoes with non-slip surfaces. Wearing socks can be dangerous because socks do not have the grip that the soles of shoes can provide.
  • Install mats in bathrooms and kitchens to make surfaces less slippery when wet.
  • Promote healthy exercise and discuss vitamin D and calcium supplements with a physician.

For more information and tips, visit the website for the National Institute on Aging.

Sacramento Premises Liability Attorneys and Sacramento Elder Abuse Attorneys

In some cases, a fall may occur because of elder abuse or a dangerous condition on the property. If you believe abuse or property conditions caused your injury or the injury of a loved one, our Sacramento accident attorneys can help.

Contact The Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website for a free consultation with an accident and injury lawyer. You may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages.

The Tiemann Law Firm serves clients in Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, El Dorado Hills and other communities in the greater Sacramento area.

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