As an older American, you are probably aware of the health and safety risks you face on a daily basis. Falls are the leading cause of serious injury for senior citizens in Colorado and across the country. It is important, therefore, to understand your risk of slips and falls as winter approaches.
In fact, one out of every four Americans over the age of 65 can expect to suffer a fall at least once in her or his lifetime. Injuries from a fall could result in permanent disability or death. Additionally, after a fall, you might be at risk of depression, isolation and physical decline if your injuries have reduced your mobility. It is also not uncommon for seniors to restrict their social activities out of fear of falling.
What do you need to do this winter to reduce your chances of falling? The following tips may help you be prepared:
- Watch out for wet floors when entering or exiting a store or public building.
- Step slowly and carefully when getting out of your vehicle and walking on wet or icy surfaces.
- Wear sturdy shoes or boots with rubber non-slip soles.
- Use handrails on walkways and stairs whenever possible.
If you live in an apartment building or assisted living facility, it is the responsibility of your property managers to safeguard the walking areas to reduce the risk of falls. The same is true for the owners of grocery stores, restaurants and other areas customers frequent. Prevention methods may include installing handrails, clearing walking areas of debris, spreading salt on icy sidewalks, mopping wet floors and setting down mats on building entrances. It is a serious liability issue when property owners fail to take these important safety measures. In such a case, if you are injured in a fall due to another’s negligence, you may wish to speak with an attorney.