The elderly population is at risk for serious injuries in the event of a fall. What could be a simple slip without lasting injury to a younger person, could potentially land an elderly individual in the hospital with severe injuries. One of the main reasons for this is that as we age, our bones become weaker and age-related conditions such as osteoporosis become more prevalent.
The National Council on Aging has found that nearly one-third of the elderly population in California fall each year. The most common way an elderly person becomes injured is by falling. The San Diego Health and Human Services Agency has found that among elderly persons, falls are the leading cause of trauma admission, injury death, loss of independence, unintentional injury, and injury emergency department hospitalization.
In approximately 30%-50% of falls suffered by the elderly population, minor injuries occur. These minor injuries tend to include things like contusions, abrasions, lacerations, and bruises. While the elderly person who suffered the fall will generally be able to recover from these minor injuries, it may take longer for them to recover from such injuries than it would take a younger person.
In some cases, an elderly person may suffer more severe injuries due to their fall. More serious fall-related injuries include broken bones, head injuries, and hip fractures. Injuries due to falls must be addressed immediately and the elderly person should receive prompt medical care to ensure a positive outcome.
The San Diego Health and Human Services Agency has determined that the risk of falling rises with age, and women are more susceptible to falls than men. Other risk factors include living alone or being homebound, poor nutrition, hazards in the home or assisted living facility, lack of activity, and acute or chronic illness. Medical conditions that may increase the risk of falling for an elderly person include dementia or Alzheimer’s, arthritis, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes.
Since falls are the cause of so many elderly injuries—ranging from minor to severe—working to prevent these falls from occurring can go a long way toward preserving the health of the elderly population. One organization in California that is making a positive impact on this issue is called Stop Falls California. Stop Falls California works to educate California residents on fall-related topics, with the goal of ultimately reducing the risk of falls, hospitalizations, and injuries in elderly California residents.
Educating yourself on the risk factors and consequences of falls can help you avoid putting yourself in situations where you may be more susceptible to falling. If you are concerned about an older loved one, be sure to visit them frequently. If they are residing in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is still important to visit often and to make sure they are being taken care of properly. Nursing home abuse and neglect can be associated with falls.
If you or a loved one has experienced a fall due to the negligence of someone else, or the nursing home facility, contact the California elderly abuse and neglect attorneys at The Peck Law Group today. We can help you fight for compensation for your injuries.
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