Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized for a fall injury. Every season has its own set of risks, but the slippery sidewalks we see this time of year lead to more slip and falls, and older Americans are particularly vulnerable. I hope the safety tips below will help you and your loved ones stay safe this season.
Less Severe Winters Don’t Mean Less Risk
While the Mid-South does get its fair share of winter weather, we don’t see the same blizzards you see in other parts of the country. You could say we’re a little less prepared for winter weather over here. Which actually means that sometimes, the very mild nature of our winters puts our residents at a greater risk for injuries—some of them at greater risk than others.
1 in 3 American adults over the age of 65 fall at some point each year. Millions of these injuries are nonfatal, but for a senior, a slip and fall can be deadly. Slip and falls are the fifth leading cause of death for senior citizens. 40% of all fatal injuries have resulted from a slip and fall.
Wintertime Slip and Falls Are More Dangerous for the Elderly
Preexisting health conditions among this demographic put seniors at greater risk for a fall. For instance, certain disorders may weaken vision and slow reaction time.
Additionally, many seniors take more prescription medication. Many of these medications have side effects that add to the risk for fall, including dizziness and drowsiness. Those who take four or more medications are at greatest risk for injury.
Take Precautions to Prevent Falling
The good news is that there are things we can all do to lower our chances of falling. Here are a few quick tips.
- Stay active. Remember that regular exercise keeps you strong.
- Have your eyes and hearing tested. Changes in vision and hearing, even the smallest changes, can lead to a fall. Take time to get used to new eyeglasses or contacts, and if you’ve gotten a hearing aid, make sure it fits right.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist about potential side effects of medication.
- Use extra caution while walking on wet or slippery surfaces.
- Use an assistive device if you need support walking. Canes and walkers can be crucial to preventing falls. If you’re using one, make sure it’s the right size for you.
Talk to a Memphis Slip and Fall Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, our Memphis slip and fall attorneys can help.
Our lawyers are known for our compassion and our results. We understand the emotional toll of any accident, and we have helped thousands of injured people get the compensation they need and deserve.