An older individual is treated for an accidental fall approximately every 18 seconds and every 35 minutes an elderly person dies from injuries related to an accidental fall. It is estimated that accidental falls in the United States cost more than 19.2 billion dollars in direct medical expenditures each year. These falls can result in serious injuries, such as broken bones, fractured hips or even death. And even if an elderly person experiences an accidental fall, but isn’t hurt, the scare from the fall and the potential for harm could prompt the elderly person to voluntarily decrease his or her mobility, in an effort to prevent falls from happening in the future. While being safe and careful is always a good idea when trying to prevent accidental falls, reduced movement and inactivity can cause the body to become weaker, which could include a loss of muscle mass, bone density and overall strength and flexibility.
Needless to say, there is a lot at stake when it comes to an elderly person suffering an accidental fall. Fortunately, there are strength training exercises and balance training programs that are specifically designed for older individuals to help reduce the risk of suffering serious injury as the result of a fall. Some nursing homes offer such programs in an effort to reduce the risk of injury when residents accidentally fall.
Flexibility, Balance, and Strength All Help Prevent Accidental Falls
Accidental falls happen sometimes because of circumstances that are entirely beyond our control. There is an unseen hole in the ground, there was no way we could catch ourselves, or some substance on the ground made it a slippery surface to walk on. However, there are a lot of injuries related to accidental falls that could have been avoided if the person who fell were slightly more flexible, had better control over balance, or were slightly physically stronger.
Age and infirmity can cause a loss of muscle tone and bone density, and if elderly individuals do not exercise regularly, they will gradually become frailer. But if elderly people work out regularly, and specifically work on strength building, balance and flexibility, they will improve their ability to protectively respond to falls when they occur. This translates into a higher likelihood that the elderly individual will be able to catch him or herself more effectively during an accidental fall.
Strength, balance, and flexibility improvement regimens do not have to be tedious or feel like extremely hard work. These types of exercises can be achieved by taking frequent walks, engaging in low-impact aerobic exercising or dance therapy. Working with resistance bands has a particularly stimulating effect on the muscles as well.
Contact an Accidental Fall Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a nursing home due to an accidental fall, you should contact a knowledgeable nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer to discuss your specific situation. Please do not hesitate to contact the experienced professionals at Rooth Law Firm online or by phone at (800) 350-0646. We would be more than happy to provide you with a free consultation concerning your case.