I knew I had crossed the line into the “old age” category when my doctor started asking me every visit if I had fallen lately! For good reason, though. Injuries from falls can lead to long hospital stays and mounting medical bills, loss of independence, and long term issues.
A fall can happen anywhere, even in your own home, driveway, or yard. They also occur commonly in public locations: malls, grocery stores, libraries, theaters, restaurants, office buildings, golf courses, swimming pools, or even in hospitals n doctors’ offices.
Causes of Slip and Falls
The most obvious causes of falls are slipping on debris or wet pavement or tripping over an obstacle. Environmental conditions can also lead to falls, such as poor lighting, loose floor-coverings, or lack of proper handrails or grab-bars.
Serious Slip and Fall Injuries
Most people think first of hip fractures when they think of injuries from falls. Fractures are also common in the arms, hands, legs, feet, and ankles. Head trauma and spinal injuries are also frightening injuries that can be caused by a fall.
Fear of future falling incidents may instill fear of going out at all, adding to the loss of mobility and independence. This can make moving into an assisted-living facility the only option for many seniors who might otherwise have been able to continue living on their own.
Take Steps to Prevent a Slip and Fall
Take advantage of physical aids to mobility. Wear sensible, low-heeled shoes with rubber soles and tight laces or Velcro fasteners. If your doctor has recommended a cane, walker, or wheelchair, make sure you understand proper usage and don’t leave it at home. Use handrails and grab-bars in public places and have them installed in your own home.
Keep your weight under control. Many activities which help with weight management will also improve your strength, balance, and flexibility. Your doctor can work with you to find a form of exercise that is safe for you to do on your own or may be able to recommend a group exercise program or health coach who can tailor an exercise regimen to your abilities.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Slip and Fall
Following these pointers may protect you or someone you love from being injured in a fall but remember that you do have legal rights if you are injured as a result of someone else’s neglect. Let us know right away if you have such a fall so we can get pictures, talk to witnesses, and determine liability.
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