Helping the Elderly Stay Healthy
I’m Ed Smith, a Lincoln Personal Injury Lawyer. It’s no secret that as people age, many of their physical abilities will start to deteriorate. Their muscle and bone mass will start to drop, making it more challenging to remain mobile. They may start having trouble maintaining their balance. It will likely take longer to perform their activities of daily living.
A team of professionals put together a relevant article that focuses on the prevention of traumatic injuries in the elderly. This article, while still focused on medical catastrophic personal injuries, is a break from the traditional article that focuses on the treatment of acute traumatic issues. This article is important because it focuses specifically on injury prevention which is actually easier than the treatment of severe injuries in several ways. These include:
- Costs: It is significantly cheaper to prevent an injury from occurring than it is to treat an injury which has already developed. For example, the medical expenses that come with a bone fracture may include a trip to the operating room, a stay in a hospital, doctors’ visits upon discharge from a hospital, and any medications. These can get expensive quickly.
- Emotional Stress: Medical injuries can place a significant amount of psychological stress on a family. The family may have to stay in a hospital with their loved one. Prevention helps avoid all of this stress.
Common Sources of Injury in Elderly Populations
There are several common sources of injuries in elderly individuals. They include:
- Auto Accidents: Elderly individuals often find themselves involved in auto accidents. These occur because, as people age, their reflexes start to slow. This makes it more challenging to react quickly to the road conditions as they change. Elderly individuals need to consider their reflexes before they get behind the wheel and, if necessary, ask someone else to drive them.
- Slip and Fall Injuries: Another common source of injuries comes from slipping and falling. While everyone can slip on a wet floor, elderly individuals often do not have the muscle mass or the balance skills to remain upright on a slippery surface. It is essential to make sure that a wet floor sign is always present if needed. Elderly individuals can also take balance classes at the local gym to preserve their muscles.
- Pedestrian Injuries: Elderly adults are often the victims of pedestrian injuries while crossing the street. This is because they usually take longer to move across the road as their mobility declines. This makes them vulnerable to being struck by a passing car or bicycle.
- Nursing Home Issues: A significant issue in the elderly population is in a nursing home. Staff often neglect their elderly residents or take advantage of them. This can lead to severe illnesses and injuries in elderly individuals which could otherwise be avoided. Many nursing homes routinely find themselves involved in citations and investigations for their failure to uphold the standards. This behavior regularly places their elderly residents at risk of severe emotional trauma and possible wrongful death.
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