Preventing slip and falls can also prevent fatal injuries. Within a year, about 33,000 people over the age of 65 in the United States are fatally injured from falls. About one in three individuals over the age of 65 reported that they had fallen within a year. Reducing the number of falls among older adults is likely the best way to treat this problem and reduce premise liability claims that can accompany these falls when they happen in public places.
As people age, they are more susceptible to brittle bones or osteoporosis. This deterioration of the bones is especially prevalent among women. A vitamin D supplement may help strengthen bones, but there have also been studies that show too much vitamin D can lead to an increase in kidney stones. This occurred among women who took at least 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. Since treating bones with vitamin D is not certain to produce other potentially harmful side effects, the best treatment could be to obtain more exercise.
Studies conducted by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force showed that among people over the age of 65 who were at risk of falling, regular exercise prevented falls or injuries. Participants in the study were asked to exercise at least three times per week. The exercise programs focused on resistance, balance, and gait in either a class setting or with a physical therapist. Exercises like tai chi or swimming classes are good examples of resistance and balance exercises.
The results of the study showed a 10 to 20 percent reduction in the risk of falls for people performing this type of exercise three times per week. Additionally, doctors are now avoiding recommending vitamin D and calcium supplements unless the patient shows specific risk factors for osteoporosis. Doctors now recommend that patients try to obtain these vitamins and supplements primarily through diet and lifestyle changes.
Reduction in the number of falls is just as important as reducing the injuries associated with these accidents. If older people remain active, even if they do experience a fall, it may not be as debilitating or result in breaking bones if the person is active. An active person is more likely to soften a fall themselves or grab a nearby object for support. Often, older adults may fall in a place that is unfamiliar to them. If slip and falls occur in public places or at a place outside of the person’s home, and the owner proves to have been negligent in providing safety, there may be grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.
Philadelphia Slip and Fall Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Assist Those Injured in Slip and Fall Accidents
Since older adults are at an increased risk of falls, they must be aware of legal rights associated with falls that occur outside their home. If you have been injured because of a fall, the Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates can provide legal help. With offices located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, we serve clients from the surrounding areas. Call us at 215-567-6600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.