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Two serious risks for seniors who suffer a fall

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Slip-And-Fall Injuries

When anyone falls, especially on a hard surface, injury can result. For older people, a fall can cause serious and even fatal injuries. Hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are just two types of fall-related injuries that can potentially result in greater consequences for those 65 and over than for younger people.

Moreover, older people are typically more likely to fall. That’s due to multiple factors that come with aging, like balance and mobility issues, vision problems and dizziness caused by medications. Yet, that doesn’t mean an older person who falls because of a dangerous condition caused by a property owner’s negligence can’t hold that property owner liable to help recover the costs of medical treatment and other expenses and damages.

Hip fractures

Seniors suffer fractures more easily than younger people largely because their bones have lost density. Hip fractures, which can be incapacitating, often result when someone falls on their side. A hip fracture usually requires hospitalization and surgery followed by time in a rehabilitation facility. Those who have had hip surgery generally need a wheelchair or walker for a time, with continued physical therapy.

You may have heard troubling statistics about the likelihood of people to die after suffering a hip fracture. This often is the result of adopting a more sedentary, less social lifestyle. This can affect a person’s physical and emotional health. With a good support system and a strong physical therapy program, this doesn’t have to be the outcome.

Traumatic brain injuries

A TBI can occur whenever someone strikes their head on a hard surface in a fall. No one should minimize the potential dangers of a TBI. For seniors, however, they can be more serious – and common. More than 80% of TBIs in seniors are suffered in falls.

As people age, their brains shrink. That means there’s more space between the brain and the skull that protects it. The veins running between the brain and the skull also shrink. All of these changes can increase the risk of a subdural hematoma, where blood collects in the brain. If it’s not diagnosed and treated right away, it can be fatal.

Everyone – but especially seniors – should take injuries suffered in a fall seriously and realize that in some cases, extensive treatment and rehabilitation are necessary. Getting the compensation to which a victim is entitled from a negligent property owner can make a big difference in their recovery.