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Preventing Slip And Fall Accidents In Winter

Posted by Deb Spinelli on 10/6/2015
Did you know that falls are the leading cause of injury among the elderly? As winter approaches, it is necessary to take added precautions to ensure that you or your elderly loved one does not fall as a result of icy winter weather. Iced over sidewalks and other slick winter surfaces can make it hard for anyone to maintain their footing. However, since the elderly may experience additional issues that can result in falls. Dizziness, for example, is more common among the elderly. Whether this dizziness is the result of an underlying medical condition or the side effect of a medication, it can greatly increase an elderly person’s chances of having a slip and fall accident. There are, however, some steps that can be taken to help the elderly avoid winter falls.
  • Wear appropriate footwear: Wearing the right pair of shoes or boots outdoors can go a long way toward decreasing the occurrence of falls. Shoes with rubber soles are especially helpful in this regard. A rubber soled shoe can help the wearer gain traction when walking.
  • Ensure adequate lighting: One of the factors leading to winter falls is the fact that in the winter months it gets darker earlier. Without adequate lighting, it is easy to misstep, or even miss a step altogether. By ensuring that there is adequate lighting outside of your loved one’s home, you can greatly reduce the chance that he or she will stumble and fall in the dark.
  • Keep tabs on their vision: Poor vision is another contributing factor to falls among the elderly. Failing vision, combined with winter’s failing light, can increase the chance of a fall. To keep track of your loved one’s vision issues make sure he or she keeps up with regularly scheduled eye doctor appointments.
  • Keep ice at bay: By keeping sidewalks, driveways, and other areas surrounding the home free of ice and snow in winter, you will remove a major cause of winter falls. Apply de-icing salt if necessary to keep areas from becoming slick with ice.
  • Install handrails: If your loved one is unsteady on his or her feet, consider installing handrails along walkways to provide a means of added support.
  • Encourage year round activity: If your elderly loved one remains active throughout the year, this will lessen the likelihood of falls at any time. Physical activity improves both balance and strength, both of which are factors in falls.

Posted in: Elderly Care, Safety Products