Slip and fall lawyers tend to worry that people underestimate the potential severity of slip and fall accidents. Although most falls are fairly innocuous, particularly among healthy young people, they are still a common source of serious injuries and hospitalizations, especially among Canadian senior citizens.
Recently published research from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows that 81 per cent of the roughly 138,000 seniors who were admitted to hospital between April 2017 to March 2018 were injured in falls. The fact that seniors accounted for more than half (51 per cent) of all hospitalizations in the country during that period means that slip and fall events caused a significant percentage of Canadian hospital stays. At a time when hospital overcrowding is a hot-button issue across the country, slip and falls should not be dismissed as harmless events.
“We do have an aging population, so we really wanted to focus on what’s happening to our seniors,” explained CIHI manager of clinical administrative databases operations, Nicholas Gnidzieiko, to CBC Health.
Hip fractures and concussions are the two most common direct injuries from falls, but seniors are also susceptible to a slew of complications, as slip and fall lawyers understand.
“Falls are the scourge of growing older,” said Geoff Fernie, falls prevention officer for the University Health Network and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. “If you get older and you get admitted to hospital, it doesn’t take long before you can’t get up. You don’t have the strength, you don’t have the muscle mass. You also become depressed and isolated, and your gut stops working.”
So, what can seniors do reduce their risk of falling? Fernie provided the following helpful advice to the CBC:
- Always wear shoes or boots with proper traction during bad weather
- Consider wearing running shoes rather than socks or stockings on tile or wood surfaces in your house
- Install bannisters on both sides of stairways in your house
- Use handrails whenever they are available
- Focus on lifting your feet rather than shuffling them when walking
Fernie also suggests taking a falls prevention class, which are available across Ontario. These classes focus on improving strength and balance, stair safety, healthy eating, confidence, and how to recover from a fall.
If you or someone you know has been injury in a slip and fall accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced team of slip and fall lawyers can help you understand your rights, assess your legal options, and proceed with a claim if necessary.
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