Most of the time, if an adult slips and falls, their loved ones don’t make a big deal over the incident unless it causes permanent or scary injuries. Where seniors are concerned, though, this is definitely not the case – and it shouldn’t be.
As our loved ones get older, slipping and falling can’t help but become a bigger deal. Not only are falls just more common, the chances of suffering a permanent or traumatic injury from a slip and fall get increasingly higher as you reach your golden years.
Because of this, it is absolutely vital that seniors do whatever they can to prevent slips and falls.
Tips to Keep Seniors from Falling That You Need to Know
Look over their medication – As people get older, they may lose their ability to balance, or even get drowsy while they’re moving from place to place. This is not necessarily a symptom of getting older itself, but it could be a symptom of medications they are taking for other reasons. A physician should be consulted about the medications a senior is taking, and how it may cause drowsiness, lack of balance, or dizziness.
Make sure they head to an eye doctor – Ask your loved one about the last time they had an eye appointment. If it’s been a few years since they had their eyes checked, they could be putting themselves at a much higher risk for slipping and falling. As eyes age, it is harder for them to identify things like tripping hazards or obstacles.
Encourage a cane or walker – If your loved one is seriously struggling to walk around, it may be time for them to get fitted for a cane or a walker. Physical therapists can provide tips and tricks for properly using the device so that they are not relying on the device, but simply using it for assistance.
Encourage exercise, if possible – Another way to improve balance, coordination, and develop energy throughout the day is exercise. While not all seniors are able to (or want to) head to a gym, there are options like water aerobics or senior-oriented yoga where the exercise is geared toward older folks.
Do a walkthrough of their home – If you have a senior relative who lives in an assisted living community, you may notice that furniture and decorations are arranged in a particular fashion. These communities know the best designs for preventing bumps and falls. Senior still living at home most likely haven’t thought about what they can do to prevent slips and falls. Statistics show that half of all accidental home deaths are caused by a slip and fall. Walk through the house with them, and note any obstacles, slippery floors, or areas of the living space that could lead to slips and falls.
Get better shoes – While nonskid, sensible shoes may not be the most hip things to wear, they could have a big impact on your loved one’s ability to walk without falling and hurting themselves. Ditch the flip flops, slippery shoes, and heels.
Not All Slip and Falls Are Preventable by Victims
Unfortunately, no matter what we do for the older people in our lives, there is still a risk that they will slip and fall. Sometimes, these slips and falls are pure accidents, and due to lack of balance and poor health. Other times, a small amount of liquid or a foreign object could be the culprit.
In the event that a loved one slips and falls due to the negligence of a property or business owner or staff member, you may have a premise liability case on your hands. Talk to a Florida slip and fall lawyer today about your case.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.