The effects of a fall can be severe for adults age 65 and older. Injuries vary, depending on how a person lands after they fall. The person can suffer minor scrapes and bruises or more severe injuries, such as broken bones, a fractured hip, or a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
All falls should be treated with medical care, even if the person feels fine after they fall. Injuries that appear minor or nonexistent can become a health problem later. Also, if a person chooses to take legal action against the party responsible for their slip and fall incident, showing that timely medical treatment was received can help build a solid case for compensation.
Why Do Falls Occur Among Older People?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falling incidents are the leading cause of injury and injury death for people age 65-plus. The CDC asserts that while falling is not an inevitable part of aging, it is a significant health concern among older people.
Aging is a major reason why the effects of a fall on an older person are important to consider. A fall can permanently change an older person’s quality of life. Everyone, regardless of age, can slip or trip and end up falling. Conditions associated with aging and pre-existing ailments can turn everyday falls into something more serious for older patients, though.
Aging brings changes in the body that could make recovery complicated for older people. Some of these changes affect vision, gait, and balance. Muscle loss occurs, and changes in bone density increase the risk of fractures among older people, according to research shared by PubMed.
Those who fall and suffer hip fractures could have a hard time getting around after their slip and fall accident, which means they may no longer be able to live on their own. Hip fractures can also lead to health complications, including permanent disability and death.
Other risk factors that contribute to the effects of a fall on an older person include arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, neurologic diseases, and other chronic conditions. Older people also use more prescription medications to manage these conditions, and some of these medicines can make them unsteady on their feet, increasing their chances of falling. The CDC advises patients to have their health care provider review their medications regularly.
Falls can also injure soft tissues of the body, which are the muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the body, as Johns Hopkins Medicine explains. Injury to any of these can bring on bruising, pain, swelling, and other damage that is not visible. Contusions (bruises), sprains, strains, stress injuries, tendonitis, and others are all soft-tissue injuries. Older people may require more time to recover from them for the reasons mentioned above.
Effects of a Fall on an Older Person’s Mental Health
Recovering from a fall in the hospital can be traumatic for an older person for non-physical reasons as well. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) says that falls account for the majority of fatal injuries for elderly adults, so it is understandable why they may inspire fear and anxiety in the elderly.
The CDC recommends that older people have their feet and eyes examined regularly and that exercise regularly to minimize the risk of falling. It also advises that they take safety precautions around the home, such as keeping shelf items within easy reach and removing items that can be tripped over, such as a throw rug or a pair of shoes.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC, Is Here to Help
Slip and fall accidents happen, but for people age 65 and older, they can pose serious health risks. For this reason, the effects of a fall on a person in this age group are important to monitor closely.
A person who is suffering from injuries from a fall caused by no fault of their own might be able to pursue compensation, regardless of age. If you are interested in obtaining legal representation for a slip and fall personal injury lawsuit, Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help. Call us at 800-959-1444 to discuss your situation during a free case evaluation today.