Slip and fall accidents can be a major concern for older adults. As people age, their bodies undergo changes that can affect their balance and stability. This makes them more susceptible to falling and getting injured.
Older adults, caretakers and property owners should review various risk factors associated with falls.
Vision and muscle strength
One reason why older adults are more prone to slip and fall accidents is due to changes in their vision. As people get older, their eyesight may worsen, making it harder for them to see potential hazards in their surroundings. This can lead to tripping over objects or missing steps.
Another factor is the decline in muscle strength and flexibility that comes with age. Weaker muscles and reduced flexibility can make it harder for older adults to maintain their balance and recover from a stumble or trip. As a result, a simple slip can lead to a serious fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that over 3 million older adult falls required emergency department treatment in 2020.
Slick floors and other hazards
Environmental factors also play a role in slip and fall accidents among older adults. Uneven surfaces, loose rugs, wet floors and poor lighting can increase the risk of falls. It is important to keep spaces well-lit, clutter-free and free from hazards to minimize the chances of accidents.
Those concerned about falling can take a few precautions. Wearing proper footwear with non-slip soles can provide better traction and stability. Regular exercise can also help improve muscle strength and balance. By staying aware of potential hazards, older adults as well as property owners can reduce the risk of falls.