As temperatures drop and Winter is in full swing, icy paths can pose a major threat to our elderly loved ones. While slipping on ice can be a real issue for anyone, seniors are more likely to become seriously injured from a fall. This article will discuss safety measures for your loved one to reduce fall risks in the Winter.
Why Ice is So Dangerous to Seniors
Under in-home circumstances, a serious fall can spell trouble for a senior. As we age, our bodies become frailer. Additionally, many of the medications that seniors take can create additional fall risks, such as blood thinners. Ice can create fall risks on hard concrete out in the cold. Harder surfaces and cold temperatures can create a more dangerous environment for your loved one. Falls on ice cause a higher rate of broken bones, internal bleeding, and other complications than falls that would take place in the home.
Going Outside in the Winter
If your loved one has to go out of their home for any reason, be sure that they are well-equipped. A warm coat, gloves, hat, and scarf can be essential to keeping your loved one warm. Additionally, your loved one should be wearing sturdy shoes with non-skid soles that are in good condition. If there is snow on the ground, snow boots can also be a good option.
Ice and Walking Aides
Walking aids such as canes and walkers can reduce the risk of falls when walking outdoors. If your loved one needs a walking aide, be sure that they are using them outside. Canes and walkers can provide an additional point of contact that can help prevent falls. Consider purchasing a cane with multiple contact points on the ground. There are many canes on the market that have 3 or 4 feet. Generally, this reduces the risk of the cane slipping. Make sure that their cane or walker is in good condition.
Your elderly loved one shouldn’t be clearing snow themselves. Consider hiring a snow removal company, or ask one of their neighbors to take care of the walkways. De-icing salt should be applied to surfaces after the snow is cleared to reduce the risk of ice buildup.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical, healthcare, or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has been providing excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help the elderly and disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact us by clicking here, or call (718)-979-6900.