For many aging Americans, Florida’s favorable climate, relatively reasonable cost of living and lack of a state income tax make it an ideal place to retire, but as the state’s older population increases, so, too, does the number of falls suffered by this demographic. The team at Dana J. Watts, Attorney at Law, recognizes that falls have become the number-one cause of fatal and nonfatal injury among seniors, and that many of these fall-related injuries and fatalities are preventable.
According to the National Council on Aging, one out of every four Americans who are 65 or older fall at least once a year, with an older adult seeking emergency room care for a fall-related injury every 11 seconds. Falls have become so prevalent among aging populations, in fact, that they now cause about 27,000 deaths and more than 880,000 hospitalizations each year.
Just what types of factors are making today’s older Americans fall down? Often, older people fall because of a combination of risk factors they already have and environmental factors that enhance their chances of falling. For example, many older Americans find that their eyesight, flexibility and overall strength tend to diminish as they age, and this can make them less likely to be able to stop themselves from falling when something obstructs their path.
In other words, while a younger person might be able to easily spot, say, a pool of water on the floor and navigate around it, an older adult may not be able to do the same and may be more likely to slip and fall as a result of the puddle. Similarly, while environmental factors such as loose wires or carpeting, potholes in parking lots and the like may pose only a minimal threat to younger populations, these same factors can seriously endanger older populations who already face enhanced fall risks. You can find more about premises liability on our webpage.