It’s no secret that slips and falls are especially dangerous for seniors. According to the CDC, nearly three million American seniors suffer falls every year. Perhaps more importantly, the rate of seniors who lose their lives to unintentional falls is climbing year after year. Protecting Seniors from Winter Slips & Falls
For those of us who live in ice and snow country, there’s no more dangerous time of the year for slips and falls than during winter. So, whether you’re an older American worried about falling during the winter or a younger person concerned for the health of an older relative, it’s important to prevent slips and falls during the coldest months. Protecting Seniors from Winter Slips & Falls
Here are some of the best strategies for protecting seniors against winter slips and falls…
Shovel Snowy Walkways
Snow can represent a fall hazard during winter on its own, but it becomes even more dangerous when it masks the ground underneath. With enough snow, it can be easy to forget where your porch step starts and ends, or where certain everyday tripping risks are found. Remember that shoveling itself can represent a fall risk, so if necessary, have a friend, a relative, or a professional perform the task.
Salt and/or Sand Icy Surfaces
The biggest culprit for slips and falls during winter is ice. Even the most able-bodied among us are prone to find ourselves turned upside down by ice — even when we know it’s there. Pouring sand over ice 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.
Wear Proper Footwear
Proper 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.
Stop Indoor Puddles
Snowmelt can quickly turn into dangerous indoor puddles. Avoid this problem by installing winter mats, storing boots and winter wear in an area that traps snowmelt, and by immediately cleaning up any puddles that occur.
Turn to a Helping Hand
Having a steady hand can make all the difference when navigating snow and ice during winter. 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.
Practice Year-Round Fall Prevention
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’ll be far better prepared when the snow and ice hits.
Visiting Angels home care providers assist seniors with a range of care needs, including fall prevention during the winter months. Call your local office today to get started with an in-home consultation for you or a loved one.
Protecting Seniors from Winter Slips & Falls
Protecting Seniors from Winter Slips & Falls Protecting Seniors from Winter Slips & Falls Protecting Seniors from Winter Slips & Falls Protecting Seniors from Winter Slips & Falls Protecting Seniors from Winter Slips & Falls Protecting Seniors from Winter Slips & Falls