A fall can lead to serious injuries or death, especially among older adults. In 2010, 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults (age 65 and older) were treated in emergency rooms and more than 662,000 of these patients were hospitalized, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.
Falls are the leading cause of injury among New Yorkers over 65. More than 60 percent of falls that lead to hospitalizations of adults 65 and older occur in the home, according to the New York State Department of Health. Every day in New York, two older adults die because of a fall, 140 older New Yorkers are hospitalized, and 223 older adults are seen in emergency rooms. Falls commonly cause traumatic brain injury (TBI), and fractures of the hip, pelvis and vertebrae.
Many falls can be prevented. We hope you’ll review our home fall prevention checklist below or share it with the older adults in your life. If you or someone you care about has suffered a serious injury in a fall that was not their fault, please contact David Resnick & Associates, P.C., to discuss the legal help we may provide to assist you with the expenses of your recovery.
Reduce Falls with a Safer Home
This simple review and a few modifications of your home can reduce fall hazards:
- Floors. Arrange furniture so there is a clear path through each room of your home. Remove space rugs that can easily slip and slide or ensure that they are firmly affixed to the floor with non-slip backing or double-sided tape. Gather cords and other wires, and tape or tie them close to the wall and out of the way. Remove clutter.
- Stairs and Steps. Repair loose or uneven steps or stair treads, loose or torn carpet, and/or loose or broken handrails. Steps and stairways should have handrails for their entire length on both sides. There should be proper lighting for the entire stairway and a light switch at each end. Make sure stairs and steps remain free of clutter.
- Kitchen. Store as many items as you can on lower shelves, especially items you use frequently. Use a steady step stool that has a bar to hold onto and/or a “reacher” device to reach objects on high shelves. Never use a chair as a step-stool.
- Bathrooms. Put a non-slip rubber mat or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower. Install grab bars in the tub or shower and next to the toilet. Install nightlights.
- Bedrooms. Make sure there are lamps that you can reach and turn on from either side of the bed. Install nightlights.
In addition to conducting a home assessment, look after yourself if you are older. Three more steps to reduce your risk of a fall include:
- Medication review. Talk to your medical provider about your medications and whether they might make you dizzy, drowsy or otherwise unsteady on your feet. Ask about alternatives or whether you can take them at bedtime.
- Exercise. Talk to your health-care provider about exercises that can improve your gait, balance and coordination, and increase your strength.
- Vision checkups. Poor vision can increase your risk of falling. Have an eye doctor check your vision at least once a year.
Our New York City Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a fall that you think was caused by a hazard that was a property owner or manager’s fault, we may be able to help you obtain compensation for the costs of the injury. Please contact David Resnick & Associates, P.C., to set up a free appointment to discuss your case. Call us now or fill out our online contact form.