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8 Tips To Develop a Fall Prevention Winter Weather Mindset.

The weather outside is getting frosty and cold. The beautiful scenery is reminiscent of a picture perfect Christmas card. However, the stark reality is that the number of slips and falls increases during this time of year.

One in three people age 65+ will experience a fall serious enough to require medical attention. Already, in the past two weeks, four of my friends and family members have taken a spill. To prevent winter weather related falls, here are 8 tips to develop a fall prevention winter weather mindset.

Fall Prevention Tips

1. First and foremost, be observant. Check the temperature before heading outside. Ice on paved surfaces can be difficult to spot, especially if it is black ice. If it is dark outside, turn on the outside lights to illuminate your path.

2. If you have areas on your walk paths that historically get icy, use gravel or rock salt to minimize the ice formation.

3. Choose the right footwear. Wearing shoes or boots that provide traction will create a better foothold. Pack your heels or smooth soled shoes and switch them out once you are at your destination.

4. Don’t carry large loads when conditions are icy and snowy. The additional load could affect your balance.

5. When you have to walk on an icy patch, try to walk like a penguin.

  • Widen your base of support.
  • Take shorter steps.
  • Loosen your knees.
  • Take your hands out of your pockets and lift your arms to your sides.

6. Use a handrail if one is available. When getting out of the car, hold onto the car door. It is amazing how much more stability that one additional point of contact with a stable surface can provide.

7. Slow down. Quick, sudden movements are a recipe for disaster.

8. Give a hand to elderly friends and relatives. Falls can be extremely dangerous for older adults. Side effects of medications, decreased strength and mobility, and decline in vision all contribute to balance issues. One fall could be fatal.

In conclusion, an increased safety awareness is extremely important when there are icy or snowy conditions. Anticipating the slippery spots and adjusting your mindset can help prevent falls during the winter.

Categories: Fall Prevention, Healthy Living
Post by Mary Falk PT on November 29, 2015

Fall Prevention with a Winter Weather Mindset

The weather outside is getting frosty and cold. The beautiful scenery is reminiscent of a picture perfect Christmas card. However, the stark reality is that the number of slips and falls increases during this time of year.

One in three people age 65+ will experience a fall serious enough to require medical attention. Already, in the past two weeks, four of my friends and family members have taken a spill. To prevent winter weather related falls, here are 8 tips to develop a fall prevention winter weather mindset.

Fall Prevention Tips

1. First and foremost, be observant. Check the temperature before heading outside. Ice on paved surfaces can be difficult to spot, especially if it is black ice. If it is dark outside, turn on the outside lights to illuminate your path.

2. If you have areas on your walk paths that historically get icy, use gravel or rock salt to minimize the ice formation.

3. Choose the right footwear. Wearing shoes or boots that provide traction will create a better foothold. Pack your heels or smooth soled shoes and switch them out once you are at your destination.

4. Don’t carry large loads when conditions are icy and snowy. The additional load could affect your balance.

5. When you have to walk on an icy patch, try to walk like a penguin.

  • Widen your base of support.
  • Take shorter steps.
  • Loosen your knees.
  • Take your hands out of your pockets and lift your arms to your sides.

6. Use a handrail if one is available. When getting out of the car, hold onto the car door. It is amazing how much more stability that one additional point of contact with a stable surface can provide.

7. Slow down. Quick, sudden movements are a recipe for disaster.

8. Give a hand to elderly friends and relatives. Falls can be extremely dangerous for older adults. Side effects of medications, decreased strength and mobility, and decline in vision all contribute to balance issues. One fall could be fatal.

In conclusion, an increased safety awareness is extremely important when there are icy or snowy conditions. Anticipating the slippery spots and adjusting your mindset can help prevent falls during the winter.

Categories: Fall Prevention, Healthy Living

Post by Mary Falk PT on November 29, 2015

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Here are 8 tips to develop a fall prevention winter weather mindset.

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