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How does a chronic illness affect a person’s fall risk?

If you have a loved one who lives with a chronic illness, you undoubtedly know how frustrating these ailments can be. Indeed, while your relative may seem and feel mostly fine one day, he or she might need a trip to the hospital the next day.

Chronic illnesses are those that have durations longer than a year and require regular medical care. These diseases can limit an individual’s daily activities. Regrettably, if your loved one has a chronic condition, he or she might have an increased chance of having a potentially catastrophic fall.

Chronic illness and fall risk

The National Council on Aging administers a prevention program to help at-risk individuals lower their chances of slipping, tripping and falling. According to the NCOA, 67% of those who participate in the program do so because of their chronic conditions.

Fall-associated ailments

Any chronic medical condition has the potential to increase a person’s odds of suffering a serious injury in a slip-and-fall accident. Some ailments, though, increase this risk more than others. These include diabetes, vision loss, hearing impairments, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.

The hospital’s duty of care

Medical professionals at all hospitals owe a duty of care to their patients. While this duty is an expansive one, it obviously includes protecting patients from injuring themselves in slip, trip and fall accidents. Put simply, if your loved one falls in a medical facility, hospital workers might have breached their duty of care.

Ultimately, if your relative sustains an injury in a slip-and-fall accident at a hospital, he or she may have grounds to pursue significant financial compensation.