Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney
You Don't Pay Unless We Recover 401-453-2700
Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney / Blog / Personal Injury / The Elderly Are Particularly Vulnerable To Falls And Injury

The Elderly Are Particularly Vulnerable To Falls And Injury


Of all the dangers that senior citizens face, and of all the ways that they are often injured, you may be surprised to know that falls and trips are one of the leading causes of injuries to our senior population. In fact, seniors fall at a higher rate than all other age groups and populations.

But why is that? Some of the reasons may seem obvious to you—but other reasons may not be so obvious.

Slowing Down With Age

As we get older, we slow down. That includes our reflexes, reflexes that are necessary to avoid a fall—or to immediately react to the sensation of the body in the process of falling. Older people may not be able to “catch themselves” as quickly as younger people may be able to do.

Our balance may not be what it was when we were younger, and our senses, senses that help us see and avoid obstacles or items on the floor, may not be what they once were. All of this creates a higher likelihood of fall and injury than would otherwise be the case in younger populations.

On top of all of this, the bones, tendons and ligaments of the elderly, may be more likely to break or tear than in younger people.

Sadly, the fact that the elderly may have illnesses or other conditions is often used against them in fall cases—Defendants often argue it wasn’t their negligence, but rather a senior citizen’s own health, that caused a fall.

Slower Recovery and Deterioration After an Accident

Although we don’t always know why, we do know that when older people are injured, they do not recover as fast as younger people—and in fact, what would normally be serious but recoverable injuries in younger people, often snowball into much more serious conditions in the elderly.

An elderly person who needs surgery after an accident, is less likely to fully recover from anesthesia. They may not be physically able to engage in the physical therapy that is normally needed, after a surgery.

Many people who have elderly relatives who were injured in accidents, see a slow and steady decline in the victim’s condition. An elderly person can spiral into heart attacks, dementia, stroke, and other conditions following injury; relatives often swear that their elderly family member was vibrant and active before the accident, and suffered a downward health spiral that followed the accident.

Going Into the Hospital

After being admitted into the ER, elderly people are more likely than younger to be admitted into hospitals. The longer term sedentary nature of hospitals, exposure to hospital acquired illnesses, and the isolation of extended hospital stays, all can lead to the decline of seniors who have suffered an accident or a slip and fall.

And while medicine and healthcare have improved in the past 20 years, the rate at which seniors die after falls, has increased by nearly double the rate from 20 years ago.

Do you have an elderly relative that was injured in a slip or fall accident? Contact our Rhode Island personal injury lawyers at Robert E. Craven & Associates at 401-453-2700 today.




Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Contact Us phone: 401-453-2700 fax: 401-453-1910 Office Hours:
9:00am - 6:00pm (M-F)
Visit Us

7405 Post Road
North Kingstown, RI 02852

Get Directions
Follow Us
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn