Fall injuries are on pace to become a leading cause of trauma-related deaths in the United States, and falls currently cause thousands of people to get badly hurt in the Boston area each year. To help combat this problem, the Boston Globe recently published an article with some balance exercises that people could do to reduce their risk of a fall.
While these exercises may be helpful to some, the sad fact is that falls are often caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of others and not by anything that the victim did or didn’t do. Balance exercises only go so far to prevent a fall, especially among vulnerable populations. Property owners, and especially nursing home operators, have a duty to prevent falls from happening and should be held liable if they fail to live up to this obligation. A Boston injury lawyer can help victims who have been harmed by a fall to take legal action and pursue a claim for damages.
The Right Ways to Prevent Fall Injuries
Exercises recommended to improve balance and prevent fall injuries include:
- Standing on one foot for at least 10 seconds. You can do four sets of this exercise for each foot.
- Putting on your socks while standing up. This requires balance, and you can do this while leaning against your bed in case you fall.
- Lifting objects like a crane. You can put a dollar bill or other item on the seat of a chair and then pick up the item while balancing on one foot and leaning with a straight back.
These exercises can strengthen the back, hips, legs and core muscles. A 2013 British Medical Journal Study suggests that exercises like these can make a fundamental difference. Researchers reviewed 17 clinical trials involving 4,300 participants aged 60 and older and found that those who were practiced balance exercises daily had a 37 percent reduced chance of suffering an injury in a fall. Those who practiced balancing also had a 61 percent lower risk of breaking a bone if they did fall.
While this news is great for people who have the time and inclination to do balance exercises, it also places a lot of responsibility on seniors and others who could become injured in a fall incident. The reality is a lot of people who are most susceptible to fall injuries can’t just exercise to solve the problem. Furthermore, when a person experiences dangerous conditions like slippery floors or unsafe scaffolding, no amount of balancing exercises in the world are going to prevent serious injuries like spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injury.
Nursing home residents are among the group most likely to experience a fall, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealing that between half and three quarters of nursing home residents fall every single year. About 35 percent of the fall injuries occur among residents who cannot walk.
Preventing falls needs to focus on making nursing homes and property owners accountable to these vulnerable populations to truly prevent the devastation that goes along with a fall. Of course, property owners have a duty to take reasonable steps towards safety for anyone and everyone who is invited onto their land or under their care, whether the visitor is a senior or not. Property owners and nursing home operators living up to this obligation will go way further than any exercises in preventing deadly falls.
If you were involved in a Boston accident, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (617) 777-7777.
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