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Injuries to the Elderly in Elevators and Escalators

People of all ages might experience an injury in an elevator or on an escalator, but the chances of facing an injury can be higher for the elderly. This is because elderly people tend to face more challenges than younger people when simply moving around. A fall or another issue that could result from an escalator or elevator issues can be more severe for an elderly person than for someone who is young and healthy. Even though escalators and elevators are generally safe, they can be particularly dangerous for the elderly. Learn more about elderly injuries on this page, and what to do about them.

Common Injuries

Many elderly people choose to use elevators as opposed to taking the stairs. This is oftentimes a good option because many elderly people have difficulty walking up and down stairs. But while the elevator might seem like a safer option, it presents its own challenges.

For example, if there is a slight misalignment between the elevator car and the floor of the building, it can cause an elderly person to lose their balance, trip, and fall. Again, falls are more serious for the elderly than for people in other age groups. They could cause serious back problems, broken hips, and head injuries. In fact, studies show that nearly half of all elderly person visits to a doctor because of escalator or elevator issues leads to a diagnosis of a broken hip. For many, this will require hip replacement surgery and a grueling recovery process.

Elderly people also oftentimes have vision and balance issues. These issues can be exacerbated by the disorientation that comes with using an escalator or an elevator. Stepping off of or out of these devices can further cause balance issues and cause an elderly person to fall.

These issues do not even touch on the serious injuries that an elderly person might sustain if the escalator or elevator malfunctions.

Injury Prevention

There are a few simple ways that injuries to the elderly can be reduced in escalators or elevators. One good suggestion is painting the strip of floor between the hallway and the escalator or elevator a bright color. This can alert people to any gaps or leveling issues. An elderly person can then slow down and take their time getting in or out of the device, in order to reduce the risk of injury.

Making sure that there is access to handrails and that these handrails are secure can make a difference when it comes to maintaining and regaining balance.

If you are an elderly person who has faced injury in an elevator or escalator, or your loved one fits this description, please contact my office. We can go over your situation and determine if you have a personal injury case on your hands. We are happy to answer your questions and advise you as best as we can.