Slips and falls are serious anywhere, but if you concentrate just on occurrences in private homes, an arresting statistic jumps out right away- falls are responsible for 50% of all accidental deaths in the home.
Let’s take a look at two of the top causes of a slip and fall in a private home. We can take a look at how they happen, how to avoid them yourself, and how to make sure your home is safe for guests, repair people, and anyone else.
- Aged Persons in the Home
Obviously, the statistic above is a sobering piece of information for anyone, but this is especially true for anyone living with and/or caring for elderly family members. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, every year 30% of people over the age of 65 will sustain a fall. Apparently, for every decade of life lived, the likelihood of a fall increases. And these falls can have terrible effects on people’s lives. Most people over 75 who sustain a hip injury from a fall are not able to care for themselves independently after the event.
And that death statistic takes an even darker turn when we consider exclusively older populations: 67% of fall fatalities are among people aged 75 years or older.
To ensure the people from older generations are safe in your home, the best defense is monitoring. Whether this is digital or in-person will depend on the person themselves. Get advice from your doctor about what your relatives can handle on their own. Make sure there are railings close by to the bed, shower, and chairs being used. Make sure shoes and slippers are in good shape and offer the assistance of a walker or cane if needed. You may also have to educate the person about how to use the device, which may require a doctor visit or an occupational therapist.
- Uneven or Damaged Floors and Steps
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), floors and flooring materials contribute directly to more than 2 million fall injuries each year. In fact, the majority of injuries stemming from falls occur at ground level, not from an elevation. And floors themselves are not the only problem; rugs and carpets are often to blame as well. Threads can get caught on someone’s foot, or the material can get bunched together, causing serious accidents.
For the safety of you and your guests, make sure to do a walk-through on a regular basis. Take note of any uneven surfaces, bunched-up rugs, or broken stairs. Put these at the top of your to-do list, especially before any decorative jobs. Dealing with an unstylish kitchen is a lot better than a broken leg.
Even after taking all the precautions possible, accidents still happen. If you have suffered a fall on private or public property, reach out to a qualified attorney to help you make sense of the situation. And, even in an uncertain world, we can all increase our safety by remaining calm, taking it slow, and looking where we are going. No matter what may be on the ground, if you see it and avoid it, it can not cause you an injury.