Slips, trips, and falls can happen almost anywhere—from the inside of your own house or the home of a friend to an aisle inside the grocery store or at a local restaurant. Slips and falls can also happen outdoors in parking lots and on stairs, for example, especially after a heavy rain when some walkways become slick. While anyone can suffer injuries in a slip and fall accident, falls can be particularly devastating for older adults. A recent article in Longevity Magazine discusses some of the best ways of reducing falls among the elderly.
What steps can seniors and their families take to reduce the risk of a fall-related accident? And when a slip and fall does happen, who is responsible?
Reducing Falls Among the Elderly
According to the article, more than 30 percent of people aged 65 and older will experience a fall each year, and that number will only continue to rise as the elderly population increases. While slips and falls can result in serious injuries like broken bones or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in people of any age, falls are particularly hazardous for older adults. They may be more likely to suffer long-term consequences from a fracture, and falls are actually one of the leading causes of death among seniors. Even if a senior’s injuries are not deadly, fall-related injuries often result in an older adult losing mobility and freedom.
There are many ways that older adults can reduce the risk of a slip and fall accident, and ways that the senior’s family members can take steps to prevent an accident. Some of those safety tips include the following:
- Assessing the home of the senior (and the home of friends and family members where the senior spends a significant amount of time): It is important to make a home as “fall-proof” as possible, which means repairing loose or torn carpets, fixing loose floorboards, and ensuring that there are non-slip mats in slick areas and handrails along staircases.
- Checking medications: Many medications produce fatigue, drowsiness, and even dizziness as side effects. All of these conditions can make a slip and fall more likely. Accordingly, you should talk with your elderly loved one’s doctor about medications and fall risks.
- Encouraging an eye and ear checkup: A senior’s fall risk increases significantly when the senior experience poor hearing and/or has vision problems. Getting an eye and ear checkup can help to determine whether your elderly parent needs new glasses, hearing aids, or other devices that could help to reduce the risk of a fall.
- Wearing better shoes: By wearing shoes with non-slip soles that are comfortable, a senior is less likely to fall.
Responsibility in Elderly Slips and Falls
In most slip and fall cases, the owner (or tenant, or manager) of the premises is responsible for injuries if that property owner failed to keep the premises reasonably safe. When a property owner fails to keep the property safe, and an older adult suffers a slip and fall accident, that senior may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit.
Contact a Premises Liability Lawyer in Florida
If you or an elderly loved one recently suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident, it is important to learn more about filing a claim for compensation. A Florida premises liability lawyer at our firm can help. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC to get started on your case today.