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  4.  – Premises liability and fall risks for older adults

Premises liability and fall risks for older adults

Business owners, property managers, landlords and others have a basic duty to minimize safety hazards for visitors and residents. Damaged or obstructed walkways and stairs, poor lighting, loose carpeting, lack of handrails and slick floors are all examples of premises hazards that can create a serious slip-and-fall risk.

Even a young and healthy person can experience severe injuries after a fall, including fractured or broken bones, spinal damage and traumatic brain injuries. However, falling can be especially dangerous for older individuals. The National Council on Aging reports that falls are the most common source of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among U.S. adults over 65.

Fall statistics among older Americans

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in four Americans over age 65 experiences a fall each year. Additionally, one in five older adult falls results in potentially serious physical harm. Other statistics to know include:

  • A reported 36 million older adults fall every year
  • Annually, around 3 million 65+ Americans require emergency medical care after a fall
  • Over 800,000 senior fall injuries result in hospitalization each year
  • Falls are the cause of more than 32,000 deaths among older adults annually

Seniors are especially at risk for hip fractures. The CDC reports that 95% of hip injuries are the result of a fall.

Fall complications for seniors

Not only are seniors more likely to suffer serious harm after a fall, but they are also less likely to fully recover from their injuries. In many cases, older adults may never recover their mobility and will have to enter a long-term care facility.

The risks associated with falling make it important that landlords and businesses are especially mindful of hazards that could endanger older adults. Failing to do so may make them liable for any resulting injuries.