Walgreens Offers Tips to Avoid Slip and Fall Accidents for Florida Seniors
It's an indisputable fact that life expectancy has increased significantly in recent years. With a growing population over the age of 65, there's been a significant rise in age-related health complications. And these complications are among many contributing factors that lead to slip and fall accidents.
Senior citizens no longer possess the physical capability to react to a fall, making them more susceptible to sustaining a severe injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that slips and falls are the leading cause of injury and death among senior citizens ages 65 and older. Roughly one in five falls causes a severe injury. This results in 2.8 million seniors requiring emergency care and over 8000,000 seniors seeking hospital treatment.
Common injuries include traumatic brain injuries, hip fractures and broken bones. Additionally, seniors who experience a fall may become afraid of falling. As a result, they may give up routine activities and require more assistance.
The risk of falling associated with age can often be attributed to:
- Vitamin D deficiency - Older adults who are deficient in Vitamin D may experience cognitive impairment as well as weakened bones.
- Loss of balance - Inner ear infection, vertigo and use of multiple medications can cause severe disruption to an older adult's balance. Additionally, arthritis, Parkinson's disease and diabetes can affect the balance of people over 65 years old.
- Poor vision - Eyesight is crucial for balance and identifying obstacles. Poor vision caused by lack of light or deterioration of the eyes can increase the risk of falling.
- Weakness and fatigue - It's no surprise that with age comes a decrease in strength, flexibility and energy. All of these are important attributes to help stay on your feet.
- Poor footwear or walking aids - It is important that seniors wear shoes that fit properly and are in good condition. Make sure that walkers and canes are defect-free and stable.
- Slippery conditions, debris and uneven surfaces - Property owners and municipalities are obligated to maintain safe premises. Failure to do so can put seniors at risk of slipping, tripping and falling.
Slip and fall prevention tips
In response to these staggering statistics, Walgreens is taking the initiative to reduce and prevent slip and fall accidents. On February 6, 2018, the national retail chain hosted Senior Day at all of its stores nationwide, in conjunction with American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
Walgreens Balance Rewards members can receive 500 bonus points for simply asking pharmacy staff members advice on how to prevent falls. Walgreens vice president of pharmacy operations, Rina Shah, stated, "With our Walgreens presence in communities throughout America, and our trusted relationship with customers, we have a great opportunity to help older adults and caregivers make homes and other environments safer and avoid injuries from slips and falls. These injuries are often highly preventable and education is the key to prevention."
How seniors can prevent slip and fall accidents
Walgreens has offered a slip and fall prevention press kit for senior customers, which includes a video and some instructional photos. The video features interviews with select doctors, as well as a Walgreens pharmacist, with advice on slip and fall prevention.
According to Dr. Judy Stevens, PhD, from the CDC Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, nearly 3 million older people received emergency medical treatment from falls. About 20 percent of those falls resulted in a head injury or hip fracture. That marks a 66 percent increase in the past decade. Stevens cites longer life-spans, diabetes and arthritis as leading factors in senior slips and falls.
Walgreens pharmacist Rupal Johnson advises senior citizens to consult with their pharmacist about the side effects of any medication they are prescribed. Even over-the-counter medicine used to treat the common cold can result in drowsiness. This can increase the likelihood of experiencing a fall.
More can be done to prevent slips and falls. The CDC offers seniors, and their caregivers, tips on how to reduce the likelihood of a serious injury:
- Talk to your doctor - Prevention always starts with a good evaluation. Consulting with your doctor is a great way to identify your limitations. You should also find out which vitamins and nutrients you may be deficient in.
- Do strength and balance exercises - Exercise will increase your strength and balance, and reduce your risk of falling. Walking, stretching and tai chi are great activities for adults over 65.
- Have your eyes checked - Meet with an optometrist at least once a year to have your eyes checked. Make sure your eyeglasses are working properly, and get them upgraded if needed.
- Make your home safer - Keep your floors carpeted, clean up debris and keep your floors dry. Make sure your home is well light at night and equipped with hand rails and grab bars
Most falls happen unexpectedly. Being prepared and vigilant can significantly reduce your risk of falling. Next time you make a trip to Walgreens, don't hesitate to consult with the staff or ask for assistance and advice on how to prevent falling.
In the event of a slip and fall caused by someone else's negligence, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced Central Florida personal injury lawyer who can discuss your options.