During the winter season, slip and fall accidents pose a significant risk to seniors. The slippery conditions of ice and snow make it challenging for seniors to maintain their balance and walk safely. Senior women are the most likely to suffer slip and fall injuries during the winter.
While sprains and bruises are common injuries from falls, more concerning are fractures and broken bones. Hard falls can result in brakes in the wrist, arm and ankles and in more serious falls in the hip. That’s why it’s important for family members and caregivers to take extra precautions to help prevent slip and fall accidents. Here are six ways to protect seniors from slip and fall accidents this winter.
Ensure the Use of Appropriate Footwear
If you’re concerned that your loved one will suffer slip and fall injuries this winter, it’s time to look at their shoes. You might not know it, but the wrong shoes can increase the risk of slip and fall accidents, especially for seniors.
Wearing appropriate footwear during winter is crucial. Choose footwear that provides good traction and grip on slippery surfaces. Avoid letting your loved one wear smooth-soled shoes outside during the winter.
Remove Ice and Snow from Walkways
If you live in an area with ice and snow, be sure to keep your walkways clear this winter. Slippery walkways increase the risk of slip and fall accidents, especially with regard to seniors. One of the best ways to prevent this type of slip and fall accident is to hire a snow and ice removal service.
It’s also a good idea to use traction mats on your doorsteps and walkways. Providing clear walkways during the winter can help keep your senior safe from slip and fall injuries. While businesses are responsible for clearing snow and ice on their properties, icy parking lots and store entrances are common places for falls to occur, so take particular caution when seniors are in these spaces.
Keep the Floor Clear of Debris
If you do a lot of entertaining during the holidays, it’s time to think about slip and fall accidents. Packaging material, wrapping paper, and decorative rugs can increase the risk of slip and fall accidents.
That’s why it’s important that you remove wrapping paper and packaging material as soon as possible. If you’re going to use decorative rugs, attach a slip-resistant backing to them. That way, you protect your senior against slip and fall accidents.
Improve Visibility and Lighting
If you haven’t improved visibility and lighting outside yet, now’s the time to do that. Poor outdoor lighting can increase the occurrence of slip and fall injuries. If there’s not enough outdoor lighting, your loved one might not see puddles or icy patches on the walkways.
They also might not see soggy leaves that have collected on the walkways. You can protect your senior from winter slip and fall accidents by improving outdoor visibility and lighting.
Consider Balance Training
If your loved one is losing their balance now that they’ve entered their senior years, winter is a dangerous time of year for them. Loss of balance can lead to slip and fall injuries.
One way to prevent those accidents is to get them involved in balance training. Balance training can help seniors improve their overall balance, which reduces their risk of slip and fall accidents. Activities like tai chi or yoga can help your loved one improve their balance.
Utilize Mobility Devices
If the senior in your life has already suffered a slip and fall accident, it’s time to utilize mobility devices. Outdoor handrails and ramps can make walkways safer for your loved one. When installing ramps, be sure to install a non-skid surface. That way, your loved one has increased stability and traction when using the ramp.
Protect your aging loved ones from slip and fall accidents this winter. Utilize the methods described here and ensure a safe winter for your loved one.