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The higher risks of slip-and-falls for senior citizens

New York City, with its busy streets and crowded sidewalks, can be challenging for anyone to navigate. However, senior citizens face increased risks when it comes to slip-and-fall accidents.

These incidents can result in serious injuries, including broken bones, head injuries and more, which can be particularly detrimental to older individuals.

Understanding the risks

Senior citizens often experience reduced strength, balance and agility, making them more susceptible to slipping and falling. The CDC indicates that more than one out of four seniors 65 or older falls each year, and one fall doubles the chances of another fall.

The weather can be unpredictable in New York City. Rain, snow or ice on sidewalks and streets may create hazardous conditions. Uneven pavement and poorly maintained walkways can also pose dangers to seniors. The fast-paced lifestyle of the city can also lead to rushed movements and inadvertent collisions, which increases the likelihood of accidents.

Tips for safer navigation

Seniors in NYC should opt for proper footwear such as comfortable shoes with nonslip soles that provide good arch support. They should avoid high heels and slippery-soled shoes.

Canes or walkers can provide added stability. Check that these devices are in good condition, and adjust them to your height when needed. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and dress accordingly. In inclement weather, use an umbrella for added protection from rain or snow.

Planning your routes is a good idea, too. Familiarize yourself with the city’s accessible pathways and avoid uneven sidewalks and other areas with known hazards. Pay attention to your surroundings. Avoid distractions such as texting or talking on the phone while walking. Be especially cautious at intersections, where traffic can be hectic.

Rushing can increase the risk of falling. Allow extra time for your journey, and take slow, deliberate steps when navigating crowded areas. When you exercise, focus on yoga, tai chi or other exercises that promote strength and balance. This can reduce the chances of falling.