Avoiding Trips & Falls This Winter
With the weather to take a turn for the worse this week, everyone, especially the elderly, needs to take extra care. The consequences of a fall are far more serious for the elderly and that’s why they need to take precautions and mind themselves in the bad weather.
Whether it’s the slippy footpath or something hidden by the ice or snow, there is no way of predicting a fall and it can happen suddenly. Sometimes being prepared for the worst can be the only way to prevent these trips and falls. Some of these precautions are things you can do for yourself and others are things you can do around your home.
- In icy weather and conditions, wear sensible, flat shoes with non-slip soles. If you really need to go outside, try to limit the walking you will be doing. (It is so important for elderly people to wear well-fitting shoes every day, not just during the bad weather!)
- Have your eyes tested regularly. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling and your eyesight changes as you get older.
- Check any medication you are on as some medication may make you feel drowsy and increase your chances of falling, due to blurred vision, feeling light headed and jelly legs.
- Consider investing in a personal alarm and wear it when you go outdoors, alerting friends and family if you fall.
- Don’t take a short cut, these routes are usually used less by the public and can be more slippy and dangerous.
- Take small slow steps and consider using a walking aid or a walking stick.
- Drink plenty of warm drinks, eat plenty of hot meals and wear extra layers of clothing keeping you warm and giving you more energy to keep active.
- Make sure you visit you GP even if you just have a minor trip to make sure you are healthy and well.
Fall prevention in your home
- Leave a low energy, high output light on when it’s dark, making your vision clearer and giving your home a sense of security.
- Always use a non-slip mat in the shower and bath.
- When moving or carrying any electrical goods make sure that the cords or wires don’t trail on the ground when you walk.
- Have your furniture arranged in a way that makes it easy for you to move around the house without bumping into anything and making you fall.
- Make sure that there are no rugs, magazines, newspapers or anything on the floor that will make you slip or fall over.
- If you do need a rug, make sure to have non-slip tape on the back of it.
- Have side rails installed either side of the stairs, in the bath, the shower and in the kitchen.
- Have a sturdy, non-moving stool that you can rely on to stand on when you need to get things that are at a height or an awkward handle.