If you own a place of business accessible to the public – you are probably aware of the increasing number of visits from elderly consumers. That’s a good thing. There are over 43 million adults over the age of 65 in the U.S.
Did you also know that the fastest-growing segment of the total population is the oldest old—those 80 and over. Their growth rate is twice that of those 65 and over and almost 4-times that for the total population.
So what are the risks?
Sadly – with aging comes an increased risk of falls. And those falls can be dangerous.
From 2002 to 2012, over 200,000 older Americans died from falls. In 2012 alone, there were over 24,000 deaths involving those 65 years of age or older attributable to falls and that figure is double the number from just 10 years earlier. Add to the 24,000 deaths in 2012, the number 2.4 million, and you have the number of people over 65 who were treated in emergency rooms from injuries tied to falls…. again a 50% increase from just a decade ago.
Now take a person 80 years of age or older and the likelihood of a fall jumps dramatically higher.
So what is a business person (or homeowner) to do? Just what are some of the greatest hazards for seniors that you as a business or home owner should be aware of?
- Stairs. Make sure all stairs are well marked and easy to see – with proper handrails installed.
- Uneven flooring. Extremely dangerous for all consumers – particularly the elderly.
- Hard floor transition points with carpeted floors. Again – uneven surfaces need to be avoided or extremely well marked.
- Rest rooms. Make sure you install railings to help elderly customers sit down on the toilet. And consider installing seats of a different color than the toilet itself to improve their visibility.
- Loose debris.
- Cords of any kind.
- Wet floors.
- Sidewalk or parking lot ice.
One innovation that could help… some business owners are being fitted with special glasses that allow them to see their environment the way an elderly person sees it and identify hazards.
Caring for our seniors is an urgent concern… don’t wait to make your business environment safe.
If you or an elderly loved one are ever injured from a fall tied to dangerous conditions, call a qualified Connecticut personal injury lawyer who has experience with these cases. A knowledgeable Connecticut personal injury lawyer can help to ensure that you or your loved one are cared for and that your rights are protected.
The lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have handled hundreds of cases involving slip and falls over our nearly 60 years serving the people of Connecticut. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in personal injury law.
Please contact us if we can help you. The consultation is free and there is no obligation of any kind. And – there is no fee or other costs unless we are successful on your behalf.