This time of year can be especially dangerous for seniors because of slips and falls. Nearly three million American seniors suffer falls every year according to the CDC. Tragically, the number of seniors who lose their lives to unintentional falls is getting higher every year.
If you live in Texas, you may not see much ice and snow country as you will in North Carolina, but even those who only get ice ever so often, there’s still no more dangerous time of the year for slips and falls than during winter no matter where you are and it pays to be prepared. As a concerned caregiver for the health of an older loved one it’s important to prevent slips and falls during the coldest months.
Here are some of the best strategies for protecting seniors against winter slips and falls:
Wear The Right Foot Wear
Winter boots aren’t just there to keep our feet warm. High-quality boots with winter-ready treads will provide superior grip compared to other footwear, helping lower the chance of a winter slip or fall for seniors. Wear good winter boots when walking outdoors during winter and make sure to check treads for signs of wear that might make them less effective.
Get A Helping Hand
Having a steady hand to hold can make all the difference when navigating snow and ice during the cold winter months. Even a short walk from the front door to the driveway can be made safer with the help of a sure-footed friend or family member.
Shovel Snowy Or Icy Porches, Walk Ways, And Drive Ways
Snow can present a fall risk during winter all on its own, but it becomes even more dangerous when it hides the ground underneath. If there’s enough snow, it could be easy to forget where your porch step starts and ends, or where certain everyday tripping risks are found. Remember that shoveling itself can also represent a fall risk, so if necessary, have a friend, a relative, or a professional perform the task for you.
Apply Salt Or Sand To Icy Walk Ways
Falls and slips during the winter months, ice is usually to blame. Even the most physically fit and stable among us are likely to find ourselves turned upside down by ice — if we’re not careful, even if we know it’s there. Try pouring sand over ice which can help give the surface more traction. Salt does the same and eats holes into the ice’s surface to break up slick surfaces. As with shoveling, salting and sanding can be a risky activity, so have someone lend a hand if need be.
Stop Indoor Puddles
Snow melt can turn into dangerous indoor puddles quickly. You can avoid this problem by installing winter mats, storing your boots and winter gear in an area that traps snow melt, and by immediately cleaning up any puddles that occur in your home.
Make Senior Fall Prevention A Priority Year Round
Even though winter is the most risky time of year for slips and falls, that doesn’t mean the risk doesn’t exist during warmer months. It’s important to practice fall-prevention year-round, taking steps like keeping risky areas well-lit, maintaining leg strength and balance, and trusting your body and instincts. By taking these precautions at all times, you and your loved ones you’ll be far better prepared when the snow and ice hits.
If falls have become the norm or have increased in severity, it may be time to discuss assisted living as an option.
At Avendelle, your loved one’s safety is paramount to us 24/7, 365 days a year.
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