A slip or fall when you are young and bouncing around the nursery may result in nothing more than a bump and a few scratches, yet for older Australians it can easily cause catastrophic injury.
And not just for seniors – a fall at any age in adulthood can have serious consequences that go beyond the incident itself.
However in the case of those in their twilight years, the onset of increasing physical vulnerability means even a slight slip can send someone to hospital.
A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has revealed that the number of older Australians hospitalised after a fall has risen in recent times.
‘Hospitalisations due to falls by older people, Australia 2009-10’ shows there were 83,800 hospitalised fall injury cases for people aged 65 and over.
“This was around 5,100 cases more than the previous year,” said AIHW spokesperson professor James Harrison today (April 4) in a statement.
“One in every ten days spent in hospital by a person aged 65 and older in 2009-10 was directly attributable to a fall-related injury,” said Mr Harrison.
Over two-thirds (69 per cent) of hospitalised injury cases due to falls were women, and one-third of all cases resulted in hip or thigh injuries.
These kinds of injuries can be debilitating as they can prevent the victim from going about their normal life and activities and can often require months of rehabilitation.
While the AIHW report was focussed on older Australians who are likely to have left the workforce (aged 65 and over), similar injuries to younger people can affect their ability to draw an income.
Many people may be unaware that there are many circumstances in which they may be entitled to public liability compensation following a slip or fall.
Everyone may know about the stereotypical slip in the supermarket aisle because a staff member failed to clean up a spill properly, yet this is just one situation in which a public liability claim may be made.
For instance, you may suffer an injury in a public square or on a road due to loose gravel or poor design, or you may be injured in your home or someone else’s residence due to poor workmanship.
When you are unsure about your compensation entitlements, it is a good idea to seek legal advice from personal injury lawyers as soon as possible.