As people get older, they start to experience age-related issues that make them more susceptible to falling. They may be physically weak due to an illness or a health condition, or they may take medications that make them more likely to fall, which could result in a serious decline in health or even death.
Property owners should be aware of these risks so they can make their properties as safe as possible for older people. As the NFSI explains, 30% of people over 65 years old suffer a fall. With each decade that someone ages, the possibility of falling increases. Seniors may fall more than once. In fact, each year half of seniors who fall have suffered a fall at some time in the past.
Health problems resulting from falls
A fall can be dangerous enough to a senior to result in death. 67% of deaths related to a fall occur within the 75 and older age group. Those seniors who survive a fall may suffer any number of debilitating health problems. Many seniors who experience bone fractures do so because of a fall. Falls are also the second leading cause of damage to the spinal cord and symptoms of brain injury.
Some falls cause a degradation of quality of life. Half of senior citizens who go into a hospital for a hip fracture lose their ability to live independently. If they cannot find a caregiver to help them at home, they tend to go into assisted living facilities like nursing homes.
Experiencing fears of falling
An older person who falls once without injury might have escaped the worst outcome for a falling senior, but that does not mean that the fall cannot do great harm. As the CDC explains, seniors who fall may become afraid of falling again and withdraw from ordinary daily activities like shopping or walking to minimize their fall risk. However, restricting physical activities can cause their physical health to decline and increase the chance of a fall.