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Older adults and slip-and-fall accident risk factors

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Premises Liability

As people age, their bodies undergo various changes that can increase the risk of slips and falls. These incidents can have serious consequences for older adults, leading to injuries such as fractures, sprains and head trauma.

Caretakers, older people and property owners must be aware of the common risk factors associated with slip-and-fall accidents.

Age-related concerns

One of the primary risk factors for slip-and-fall accidents in older adults is reduced balance and stability. Over time, changes in muscle strength, flexibility and coordination can affect one’s ability to maintain balance and react quickly to prevent a fall. Additionally, conditions such as arthritis, neuropathy and other medical issues can further compromise balance and increase the likelihood of falls.

Another significant risk factor for older adults is decreased vision and hearing. Impaired vision can make it difficult to detect obstacles or hazards in the environment, while hearing loss can affect one’s ability to hear warnings or signals that could prevent a fall. Regular vision and hearing screenings can help identify and address any issues that could increase the risk of slips and falls.

Environmental risks

Environmental factors play a significant role in slip-and-fall accidents among older adults. Cluttered or poorly lit spaces, slippery floors, uneven surfaces and lack of handrails or grab bars can create hazards that increase the risk of falls. Simple modifications such as removing tripping hazards, improving lighting and installing grab bars in key areas can significantly reduce the risk of slips and falls.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that almost three million emergency department visits occurred during 2021 due to older adults falling down. By addressing environmental hazards, property owners can help reduce the risk of falls among older adults.