According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults 65 and older have a 33 percent chance of falling each year. On average, one of every three adults in this age group fall, which often leads to fatal or serious injuries, like hip fractures or head trauma.
As our focus continues on a short series of blogs about nursing homes, our personal injury lawyers in Winston-Salem, Gastonia and Greensboro know that falls are a leading cause of injury in older adults . In 2007, more than 18,000 older adults died from an unintentional fall injury. Liability or negligence can often become a concern for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or even businesses when it comes to falls by senior citizens. In each case, they have an obligation to make their environment safe for everyone.
Senior citizens whoslip and fall on a premises in North Carolina are a leading cause of injury for North Carolinians. In fact, the North Carolina Injury and Violence Prevention offers the following older adult fall statistics for North Carolina residents:
-Death rates due to falls in 2007 was 23 times higher for someone over age 65 than for someone not over that age.
-76 percent of fall-related deaths in 2007 were from someone 65 and older.
-10 to 20 percent of falls in nursing homes result in severe injury.
-From 2000 to 2006, unintentional falls by senior citizens reported to hospitals rose 15 percent.
-Women have a tendency to visit emergency rooms 30 percent more than men as a result of a fall.
Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Among older adults in 2000, 46 percent suffered from traumatic brain injury from a fatal fall. As adults age, they begin to lose balance or become more feeble. Once an older adult falls, they often become fearful of falling again, especially if no one is there to help.
According to the CDC, older adults can take the following steps to help prevent falls:
-Have your eyes checked annually by the eye doctor. Update your eyeglass prescription as needed.
-Minimize side effects like dizziness or drowsiness by having your doctor check prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
-Make your home safe-proof by adding bars, railings, ramps and more lighting. Remove all hazards that could cause you to trip. For instance, ruffled carpets or exposed legs on chairs.
-Get a daily dose of exercise focusing on balance, fitness and strength as part of your routine.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a fall, contact The Lee Law Offices to discuss your rights. We represent personal injury victims in Greensboro, Asheville, Spartanburg and Anderson so call for a free initial consultation at 1-800-887-1965.