Slipping and falling is a common thing that happens to many of us. If we’re in tip top shape, we can always pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. However, falling and slipping are not always harmless for everyone. A small slip could prove to be fatal for an elderly person. Research has shown that more than a third of older Americans fall each year. Of these, more than 10,000 do not survive the fall. In addition, 20% to 30% of elderly people who fall suffer from moderate to severe injuries, thus making it difficult for them to recover.

As described above, elderly people are prone to fatal slips and falls as they may have issues in physical mobility and balance to help themselves. More often than not, elderly people also have a more difficult time recovering from a fall. Their bodies are unable to heal as fast. They may be bedridden for weeks or months, which consequently causes stress and depression to some when they are unable to interact with others. These kinds of conditions will eventually lead to the worsening of their health.  Sometimes, the falls suffered by the elderly are falls that one may not necessarily deem fatal. Here are some examples of slip and fall cases that proved fatal to some elderly. For more information on elderly injuries see here.

Easy For You But Not For Me

Slipped on Wet Grass and Fell in the Lake

One case where the elderly person did not survive was in May 2013. An elderly person was found dead on the Biggest Loser filming area. The man was known to have lived in a house a couple blocks from where the TV show was filming and was believed to have been walking before slipping on wet grass and falling in the lake.

He may have been walking at the edge of the bank and unexpectedly slipped, causing him to fall in the lake and drown. Due to poor health and physical condition, he was unable to help himself out.

Classified as “Fall Risk”

Another case was in 2009, where an elderly man recovering from pneumonia was found in his room with a gash on his forehead and a broken neck. He was classified as a fall risk and needed assistance going to the bathroom and getting out of bed. After surgery for his neck and as his stay in the hospital progressed, he developed bedsores on his buttocks. The bedsore developed into something worse, which eventually got infected and caused him severe pain.

The medical staff was supposed to ensure that falls don’t happen to their patients, especially ones who are classified as a fall risk. The elderly man did recover from pneumonia, but he passed away after suffering from the fall and from the related infection caused by the bedsore.


Preventive Measures

To prevent getting in to these types of accidents, here are some ways to prevent slipping and falling:

See your doctor

If you have fallen before, talk to your doctor about fall-prevention strategies. This could involve installing railings or other tools to help you with balance and mobility. In the case of the man who was considered a fall risk, communicating with the staff in advance when he needed help could have been a good strategy in preventing an accident.

Check your medication

Speak to your doctor about the dosage of your medication. It has been reported that some of the medication prescribed, like Valium, can cause dizziness. A lower dosage of these medications can be helpful in preventing the elderly from becoming dizzy and, thus, prevent falling and slipping.

Exercise and eat right

Being active and physically healthy helps a person’s balance and overall well-being. It also increases strength, flexibility and coordination. Make time to work those muscles and eat a balanced diet.

Following the above tips will not only help you prevent from falling and slipping, it will also help you build a healthier body.