How can the elderly be protected from dangerous falls?

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2020 | Premises Liability

Slip and fall injuries might not seem that dangerous to some people. Most people imagine a fall will leave you feeling a bit sore afterward, but this is not the case for older adults. Recent studies show that falling fatalities among the elderly are increasing, with almost 25,000 people aged 75 or older succumbing to injuries caused by falls in 2016. 

Falling risks exist everywhere. In addition to ensuring homes are free of clutter and that seniors have the right walking aids when mobility is an issue, the elderly must also be safeguarded from falling risks when out in public. This is the responsibility of property owners, who are expected to maintain safe, secure premises to prevent serious injuries from occurring. Here are a few things property owners can do to protect others. 

Fix cracked sidewalks and parking lots

Exterior maintenance is about more than just appearance. It also prevents liability issues from occurring should a person trip and fall over a crack or pothole. Seniors who already have balance issues or those who are struggling with diminished vision are more likely to miss pavement defects, which can have a disastrous outcome. Issues should be repaired immediately, and proper maintenance of asphalt and concrete should be taken to prevent defects from occurring in the first place. 

Clean up spills immediately

Timely spill response is a must within grocery stores and restaurants. When these issues go unaddressed and a person is injured in a fall, it is possible that the business owner can be held accountable for what happened. Staff should be instructed on how to effectively respond to spills, with an emphasis on swift action to keep patrons safe. 

Ensure stairways are safe

Falls happening on staircases are particularly dangerous to the elderly, who have a higher risk of hip fractures. Railings must be sturdily attached to the wall so people can grip them safely without fear that they will give out. Lighting is also important. Stairways should be properly illuminated so stairs can be easily navigated both day and night.