Senior citizens often become increasingly prone to falls as medical conditions worsen over time. Some estimate that as many as one in three individuals over the age of 65 fall at least once per year. When falls occur, seniors may not tell their family members, caregivers, or medical providers, often out of fear that they will have to move to a nursing home or other residential facility. Seniors may be embarrassed or afraid of losing their independence if they admit to a fall. As a result, injuries to seniors caused by falls may be overlooked or simply go unnoticed. In fact, about 37.5% of senior falls result in injuries that necessitate medical attention or are severe enough to restrict mobility.
Various factors contribute to an increased risk of falls for senior citizens. For example, as individuals age, they often experience balance deficits due to inner ear changes, as well as slowed reaction times. Other conditions that come with aging include muscle atrophy, neuropathy, arthritis, and vision changes, all of which can increase the risk of falling. A few other factors that can lead to falls are side effects of medication and variability of blood pressure.
Just as senior citizens tend to fear, falls are one of the most common reasons for admission to a nursing home. Certain types of falls, such as those that result in hip fractures, can cause about 25% of those individuals to die within one year. Countless other individuals who experience falls never are able to regain their previous level of independence.
The good news is that most falls are wholly preventable. By taking simple precautions, you can help your senior loved one avoid the falls that commonly result in serious and in some cases, life-altering, injuries. While you cannot predict or prevent falls that stem from permanent medical conditions, such as dementia or Parkinson’s disease, other causes of falls can be avoided in many situations. For instance, simply monitoring medication’s side effects carefully and changing medications or dosages as needed can help prevent a situation that easily can lead to falls.
Boller & Vaughan knows how physically and emotionally devastating it can be when a senior citizen falls, particularly when nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are supposed to prevent such incidents. Fortunately, we have the knowledge and the experience to help you through any type of elder abuse or neglect claim, particularly when injury results from a wholly preventable incident, such as a fall. No matter what type of nursing home facility abuse or neglect is at issue in your case, we can help. All too often, residents and their families are reluctant to demand justice for situations that occurred in the resident’s care. In this situation, you can count on your Madison elderly abuse attorneys to guide you through every step of the personal injury claims process.