Since 1993, there has been a dramatic surge in spinal cord injury rates among those 65 and older in the U.S., according to a Vanderbilt University study published in the June 2015 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
In fact, as these researchers found, from 1993 through 2012:
- The number of spinal cord injuries sustained by those 65 and older in the U.S increased by about 68 million.
- This represented an approximately 61 percent increase in spinal cord injuries among this demographic.
- Women in this demographic were about 20 percent more likely to have suffered a spinal cord injury than men.
Commenting on these findings, one of the study’s lead researchers, Dr. Nitin Jain, explained that, “spinal cord injury is a catastrophic injury that often results in permanent disability… these problems are likely to increase with our aging population.”
Researchers Attempt to Explain the Surge in Spinal Cord Injuries for the Elderly
While this study’s findings regarding the substantial jump in spinal cord injuries rates among the elderly may be surprising on the surface, they seem to make more sense considering some of researchers’ theories.
Specifically, one of the primary theories that has been used to back up these numbers is that falling down is a bigger problem for the elderly – and falling among this usually less agile and more fragile demographic is far more likely to result in serious, if not life-threatening, injuries.
Consequently, researchers offered the following suggestions to try to prevent falling accidents among elderly loved ones and, in doing so, reduce their risk of sustaining spinal cord injuries:
- Make sure your elderly loved ones are wearing up-to-date eyeglasses prescriptions.
- Make sure their shoes fit properly and the halls/walking paths in their homes are free of clutter.
- Double check their prescriptions to make sure none are contraindicated (or to be aware of potential side effects that may include balancing/vision problems).
- Provide them with walking or mobility aids if necessary.
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Contact a St Louis Personal Injury Lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to any form of negligence, contact a St Louis personal injury lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law to find out more about your options for recovery.
At Brown & Brown, our attorneys have a long-standing commitment to serving our clients, and we are experienced at aggressively defending our clients’ rights in any legal setting. Our goal is to preserve and promote the rights and welfare of individuals and families who have suffered injuries and losses and/or who need help navigating the complexities of the legal system.
To learn more about how we can help you, call us at 573-333-3333 for our Missouri office or at 618-888-8888 for our Illinois office. You can also email us using the form at the right-hand side of the screen.