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Winter Fall Prevention Tips And Tactics

Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in individuals over the age of 65.  Slip and fall accidents are the number one cause of emergency room visits and injury-related deaths in individuals over the age of 65; because of this fall prevention should be of utmost priority when age-proofing the home. As you age, the need to be more cognizant of any potential trip or fall hazards in the home should be looked at with a more critical eye. Fall prevention measures also need to be implemented in areas of the country that are prey to snow and ice which leads to slippery sidewalks and steps.

When winter has settled in, here are some steps you can take to prevent winter-related slips or falls:

1. Stay Informed About Weather Conditions: Anticipating impending weather conditions becomes a critical aspect of winter safety. Prior to a predicted storm, it’s advisable to stock up on essential supplies, reducing the possibly need to head out once the storm hits. A proactive approach ensures that everyone remains safe and secure indoors.

2. Preparation is Key: If there is an emergency, or if heading out into inclement weather cannot be avoided, make certain you’re dressed for the weather and that your vehicle is equipped in the event of an emergency.  Having necessities such as water, snacks, warm clothing, flares, and blankets at your disposal can be invaluable if you find yourself stranded in adverse conditions.

Winter Fall Prevention

3. Winter Footwear: Investing in footwear featuring nonslip soles is a small yet significant step towards winter fall prevention. Proper footwear provides improved traction and stability, helping to mitigate the risks associated with slippery ground conditions.

4. Embrace an Active Lifestyle: Keeping active is great advice for both young and old. Prioritizing regular exercise bolsters coordination, flexibility, and balance – qualities that prove invaluable when navigating treacherous winter terrains. Strengthening leg muscles contributes to reduced injury risk and increased confidence in maintaining stability.

5. Harness the Power of Technology: Incorporating technology into your winter safety arsenal is a prudent move. Keeping your cell phone fully charged and within arm’s reach, or even better, wearing a medical alert device from reputable providers like LifeFone, ensures that help is just a button press away. These devices are designed to provide around-the-clock protection, summoning medical assistance with a simple action, especially crucial during moments of disorientation following an accident.

6. Delegate Snow Removal: Enlisting external help for snow removal can greatly enhance safety during winter months. Hiring a neighbor or service to plow driveways and clear sidewalks and porch steps not only reduces the risk of slips due to ice build-up but also ensures a more accessible environment for seniors.   

Whether you are a concerned family member or a professional caregiver of the elderly, safeguarding seniors during the winter months is a responsibility that demands careful consideration. Beyond the conventional safety measures, it’s crucial to empower the elderly with the knowledge and tools to navigate winter’s challenges confidently. A medical alert system is a valuable way to access help all year round in the event of a slip and fall accident.  These systems also have a fall detection feature that is optional for those who need or want it.

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