Though it sounds innocuous enough, a trip and fall accident can cause significant harm to individuals. These injuries run the gamut from bruises and scratches to broken hips and even traumatic brain injuries.
The elderly, in particular, suffer the most from falls and can benefit from practices that help them avoid falling in the first place.
Dangerous conditions to avoid
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that about 800,000 people a year go to a hospital for treatment due to a trip and fall accident. The elderly account for many of these hospital visits. Older people and their caregivers should understand the risk factors that increase the likelihood of a fall. The presence of one or more of these conditions will increase the risk of a fall:
- Lower body weakness
- Vision problems
- Foot pain or inappropriate footwear
- Walking and balance issues
- The presence of obstacles
Throw rugs in a room or forms of clutter on the floor can lead to dangerous conditions. Healthcare facilities and assisted living properties should always watch out for obstacles that increase the risk of falls for elderly patients and residents.
Effective steps to take
Proper prevention measures can reduce the chance of a trip and fall accident. Individuals can do an assortment of exercises that improve balance. These include lower body exercises and yoga. Some vitamin supplements such as Vitamin D can increase overall body strength, and regular eye appointments help reduce vision problems.
A person who has fallen once should alert his or her doctor. A single fall doubles a person’s chance of falling again. The elderly should watch out for unsafe conditions when away from home as third-party negligence often plays a role in trip and fall accidents.