Portland is rainy and wet this time of year. This can make for slippery conditions on buses, sidewalks, and in local stores. When you add in narrow walkways, uneven terrain, and the potential for crowds, it increases the risks for slip and fall accidents. These can result in serious personal injuries, particularly among older adults. Being aware of the dangers and taking a few safety precautions can help to reduce your risks.
Slips and Falls a Common Hazard Among Older Adults
According to studies from Portland State University, people over the age of 65 are one of the fastest-growing segments of the population. Currently, more than 250,000 local residents fall into this age bracket. By 2030, that number is expected to more than double. The older you get, the more safety becomes a concern. It gets harder to bounce back from illnesses and injuries, making it important for older adults to take extra precautions. Even an otherwise minor incident can have major impacts on your mobility and overall health.
Slips and falls are one of the most common types of accidents and a leading cause of serious personal injuries. They are a particularly dangerous hazard among older adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that one out of every four people over the age of 65 suffers a slip or fall each year. Impacts can include:
- Broken bones: Bones become more brittle the older you get and wrist, arm, hip, or ankle fractures are common;
- Head injuries: These can impact the pathways in the brain, resulting in permanent impairments. They are especially dangerous for those taking blood thinners;
- Increase fall risk: The CDC reports that once an older adult falls, they are more likely to do so in the future.
- Fear of falling: The fear of suffering another slip and fall injury can cause you to stop engaging in hobbies and activities you previously enjoyed.
Protecting Yourself Against a Slip and Fall
Among older adults, slips and falls can result in reduced mobility. This can increase your dependence on others for help in performing even simple tasks and hastens the need for home health aides, assisted living, and other types of long term care. To protect yourself against slips and falls, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) offers the following tips:
- Get an updated vision test;
- Be aware of how health conditions you suffer from or medications you take may increase your fall risks;
- Consider physical therapy as a way of improving your coordination and balance;
- Be alert for wet floors, uneven sidewalks, and other conditions that make falls more likely to happen.
Let Us Help You Today
Slips and falls generally happen due to the reckless actions of property owners. At the Johnston Law Firm P.C. we can help you hold them accountable for the medical expenses and other losses you suffer. To discuss your options, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland personal attorneys online to schedule a consultation.