The health and safety of older adults has been a primary concern amidst the coronavirus pandemic. While people of any age are at risk for contracting COVID-19, the ramifications for those over the age of 65 are more severe. As cases of the virus slowly decline, this segment of Portland’s population is likely to feel safer going out and resuming some of their normal activities. As they do, slips, trips, and falls are a common danger they need to be aware. They are one of the most common causes of serious personal injuries among older adults.
Older Adults and Falls
May is designated as Older Americans Month. Sponsored by the Administration for Community Living, it highlights past and present contributions older adults make. In addition to honoring their efforts, it also raises concerns about some of the issues people over the age of 65 face.
Unintentional accidents are a major hazard among older adults. Personal injuries they sustain have a tendency to be more severe, and unlike their younger counterparts, older adults do not bounce back as quickly. Slips, trips, and falls are one of the leading causes. These can occur in grocery stores, restaurants, doctor’s offices, or in any public place. Common causes include:
- Wet, slippery floors;
- Loose flooring tiles and torn carpeting;
- Uneven walkways and pavers;
- Cluttered aisles;
- Overly crowded spaces;
- Lack of proper landscaping in outdoor areas;
- Lack of proper lighting;
- Lack of handrails on stairs and at heights.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and falls are a leading cause of personal injuries among all age groups, but older adults are among those that face the biggest risks. According to the National Council On Aging, one out of every four Americans age 65 and older suffers a slip, trip, or fall each year.
Injuries caused by slips and falls can result in permanent disabilities for older adults and may even hasten an early death. Common types of personal injuries they are likely to suffer in these accidents include:
- Torn muscles or tendons and other soft tissue injuries;
- Dislocated joints;
- Broken bones and multiple fractures, particularly those impacting the wrists, ankles, and hips;
- Back and neck injuries, such as fractured vertebrae and damage to discs;
- Head injuries, which can result in concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
When a slip and fall does occur, it is generally due to the negligence of property owners. They can be held accountable for the damages older adults and their family members suffer either through an insurance claim or by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Let Us Help You Today
At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we know how serious older adult slips, trips, and falls can be. We can help you hold those at-fault responsible for the medical expenses and other costs you incur as a result. Reach out today and call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland personal injury attorneys online to request a free consultation.