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Elderly slips and falls are common, especially during winter


If you live in New York City or the surrounding area, you may wondering if or when winter will ever arrive. With record-setting warm weather spoiling many New Yorkers, the misery of the cold blustery winter season, and all that comes with it, may be far from our minds. But winter will inevitably be here, and with it will come ice and snow and slush and all forms of slipperiness. And with the difficult weather will come slips and falls.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, over 700,000 people are hospitalized due to a fall. And falls are often serious, with an estimated one out of five falls causing a serious injury. The elderly are especially vulnerable. Statistics show that approximately 2.5 million elderly people are treated at hospitals each year for slips and falls.

Ninety-five percent of hip fractures are caused by falls, and falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries as well. Statistics show that slip and fall injuries cause an estimated $34 billion annually.

If a person suffers a slip and fall that leads to disabling injury that is expected to last at least a year or ultimately end in death, that person may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.

Injuries to a person's spine, neck, back and brain can often lead to life-long consequences, or require rehabilitation and therapy that may extend beyond a year. To help cover financial costs associated with not working, as well as medical costs, the Social Security Disability programs are available to help.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Important Facts about Falls," Accessed Dec. 15, 2015

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