While anyone is vulnerable to a slip and fall, older Floridians are particularly at risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that as many as 25% of individuals over the age of 65 fell in 2018 alone. This means falls affected nearly 36 million seniors that year.
As individuals age, they often become increasingly prone to injury in slip-and-fall accidents. While any type of injury is possible during a fall, three injuries commonly affect seniors.
1. Hip fractures
Older individuals may have weaker bones than their younger friends and family members. Some also develop osteoporosis, which causes bones to become brittle. If an older person has the condition, he or she may fracture a hip during a fall.
Hip fractures often require surgical intervention. During the recovery process, many with hip fractures require round-the-clock care for months. Regrettably, after breaking a hip in a slip-and-fall accident, many seniors never fully return to their pre-injury quality of life.
2. Vertebrae damage
Vertebrae protect the delicate spinal cord from damage. If an older individual slips, trips or falls, back bones and the spinal cord are at risk of injury. While a broken vertebra is problematic on its own, a nicked or severed spinal cord may lead to paralysis or other serious complications.
3. Traumatic brain injuries
During a fall, an older Floridian may hit his or her head on the floor, a piece of furniture or something else. This impact may cause the person to develop a concussion, brain bleed or another type of traumatic brain injury.
The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may not appear immediately. Therefore, after a fall, seniors should seek a full medical examination to be certain they have not sustained one.