Your Law Firm For Life In Northern California

Falls are the top cause of traumatic brain injury in older adults

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2024 | Premises Liability |

As people age, they become more susceptible to falls. Falls can have serious consequences, including traumatic brain injury. Falls are the leading cause of TBIs among older adults. These injuries can result in long-term disabilities and impact quality of life.

Understanding the factors contributing to falls helps prevent these incidents and reduce the risk of TBI in older adults.

Environmental hazards

Several environmental factors can increase the risk of falls among older adults. Poor lighting, slippery surfaces, uneven flooring and cluttered pathways are among them. Additionally, lack of handrails or grab bars in bathrooms and staircases can make it difficult for older adults to maintain balance and stability. Home modifications, such as installing adequate lighting and removing tripping hazards, can create a safer environment and prevent falls.

Medication side effects and physical decline

Certain medications prescribed to older adults may have side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness or impaired coordination. Any of these side effects can increase the risk of falls. People should review their medications with health care providers and be aware of potential adverse effects. Furthermore, age-related declines in vision, muscle strength and balance can make older adults more vulnerable to falls. Engaging in regular physical activity can help mitigate these declines and improve overall stability.

Preventive measures

Taking proactive measures to prevent falls helps protect older adults from TBIs and other injuries. This includes conducting home safety assessments to identify and address hazards, like loose rugs or slippery floors. Encouraging regular vision screenings and staying active can also help maintain physical health and reduce fall risk. Using assistive devices like canes or walkers when needed can provide added support and stability.

Per UCLA Health, falls are the leading cause of TBI-related emergency room trips, hospitalizations and deaths among older populations. Older adults who fall should seek prompt medical care to determine the extent and severity of any fall-related injuries.