Dr. Phil’s Tips How To Avoid a Slip and Fall this Winter

Posted on January 22, 2013 by

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As winter approaches, the risk of slip and fall accidents dramatically increases. This is especially true for seniors and those with limited mobility issues. Of course, anyone can suffer an accident, but taking some precautionary measures can help reduce the risk of injuries associated with a fall.

It is also important to keep in mind that while outdoor falls can increase with the arrival of colder weather, there are still many potential slipping dangers indoors. Seniors can be especially vulnerable to falls and injuries; they often have less stability when walking and are more prone to suffer an injury in the event of a fall. Fortunately, there some simple steps that can help keep them as safe as possible.

Choose Safe Footwear

It is certainly understandable that many people want to be fashionable or wear their favorite boots and shoes when going out; however, when it comes to your winter safety, choosing the right footwear can help ensure you have the solid footing you need to stay safe. This is especially important in the winter when conditions such as snow and ice can present a serious slipping risk for seniors.
1.Consider wearing flats or low heels with rubber soles.
2.Athletic shoes are often a great choice because they have slip-resistant soles and offer the stability needed to provide good traction and sure footing.
3.Make sure laces are tied and out of the way.

Increase Lighting Around Your Home

Visibility is another important factor to consider when trying to avoid accidental falls around the home. With the onset of winter, many people find that they are arriving home after dark; this leaves them to navigate slippery surfaces in poor lighting.

Unfortunately, it also sets up an environment that can pose a significant risk for injury, especially for the elderly. Consider installing outdoor lighting along walkways to improve visibility and avoid potential falls.

Take Smaller Steps

Many people spend very little time thinking about how they actually walk from one point to another; however, when navigating potentially slippery surfaces or areas of ice and snow, concentrating on your steps can help ensure you have safe footing.

Take small steps and make sure you have a solid surface before transferring your weight. It takes only one misstep to cause a fall and many of these falls can be avoided by making sure each step is as safe as possible.

Remove Potential Hazards

An important part of ensuring your safety is to remove any potential tripping or slipping hazards before they become a problem. This includes making sure that driveways and sidewalks are clear. Sticks, slippery leaves, snow and ice can all pose significant slipping hazards. Keeping these areas clear can help prevent accidental injuries caused by falls. Of course, properly maintaining steps and other outdoor surfaces will also be important. Cracked sidewalks, missing handrails or even loose steps can be extremely dangerous for the elderly.

For seniors who receive home care, a caregiver can help ensure that both the indoors and outdoors are safe for walking.

Exercise for Better Stability

While there are certainly many things you can do to eliminate tripping or slipping risks around your home, consider the benefits of a regular exercise program. Many people know that keeping physically active is an important part of good health, especially as we age. However, regular exercise can also help increase one’s core strength, leading to better posture and improved balance.

Choosing exercises that will provide additional strength and stability while also helping to prevent injuries is an important part of making sure you are as healthy and safe as possible. Exercise does not have to be a burden, there are many excellent programs designed to help even the most inactive seniors begin to enjoy the benefits of physical fitness.

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