Thousands of elderly Americans experience slip and fall accidents each year, with many of them happening during the winter months. Because the weather plays such a big role in whether seniors are steady on their feet, it’s important for family caregivers with elderly relatives to look at all the ways they can minimize the risk of slip and fall accidents.
Why Slip and Fall Accidents are Dangerous for Seniors.
Whether it’s winter or not, elderly adults can be seriously injured in a slip and fall accident. From sprains, scrapes, and bruises to broken bones and concussions, the injuries sustained can be extremely serious for seniors. Because wounds and bones take longer to heal in aging adults and infections are more common, a slip and fall accident can mean a long and complicated recovery.
Elderly adults with mobility issues often struggle with walking and balance issues. They frequently rely on family caregivers, friends, and senior care providers to assist them in daily activities and in getting to events, appointments and shopping. Winter conditions that include ice and snow can endanger already frail aging adults even more. The good news is that many weather-related slip and fall accidents are preventable.
Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents in Winter.
If family members, senior care assistants, and aging adults are proactive, they can really reduce the risk of a slip and fall accident. It’s all about preparing for a winter environment and having family caregivers and senior care providers assist as much as possible. Here are just a few ideas about how to avoid senior slip and fall accidents this winter:
- Dress in warm but not restrictive clothing to facilitate movement.
- Wear sturdy shoes with non-skid soles to provide more traction on icy surfaces.
- Leave shoes at the front door to avoid tracking in slush, thereby making hard floors slippery.
- Use doormats at home entrances to catch water.
- Take small and steady steps when walking outside in the winter.
- Hold onto supporting objects, like hand rails, or people, like family caregivers and senior care providers.
- Choose walking routes with the least obstacles and winter hazards.
- Use assistive walking devices with new rubber tips that can provide stability in winter weather.
- Stay indoors if the weather conditions are too hazardous or have created dangerous conditions.
While slip and fall accidents can certainly happen in the warm weather months of spring and summer, there are added hazards that winter brings. There’s no better time for family caregivers to act to ensure their loved one is protected as well as possible from having a slip and fall accident due to weather-related conditions. The right precautions now can mean increased safety and health all winter long.