As temperatures drop this Winter, icy paths can pose a major threat to our older loved ones. While icy surfaces can be a real issue for anyone, older individuals are more likely to become seriously injured after falling. This article will discuss safety measures for your loved one to reduce fall risks in the Winter.
Icy Surfaces are More Dangerous for Seniors
Under in-home circumstances, a serious fall can spell trouble for a senior. As we age, our bodies become frailer. Additionally, some medications can create additional fall risks. Blood thinners especially can make falls much riskier. Icy conditions can create fall risks on hard concrete or asphalt. These 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 inside the home.
Winter Weather Gear
If your loved one has to leave their home, they should wear proper coverings for the cold. A winter coat, gloves, hat, and scarf are good for keeping your loved one warm. Your loved one should be wearing sturdy shoes with non-skid soles that are in good condition. Overall, this can help reduce slips on icy surfaces. If there is snow on the ground, snow boots can also be a good option.
Icy Conditions 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 aid, be sure that they are using them outside. Canes and walkers can provide an additional point of contact that can help prevent falls. Even if your loved one does not need a cane normally, it can be helpful during days after a snowfall or when ice is more prevalent. Consider purchasing a cane with multiple contact points on the ground. Many canes on the market have 3 or 4-foot pads. Overall, these can reduce the risk of the cane slipping on icy surfaces. Make sure that their cane or walker is in good condition.
Snow Removal for Your Loved One’s Home
Your older 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.