Keep Your Feet Under You With These Tips
Falls are the No. 1 cause of accidental death and injury requiring hospitalization in individuals 65 years old and older. Winter weather can increase the risk of hazardous walking conditions at work or around your home. Here are tips to keep your footing from the Genesis Fall Prevention Program:
• Wear footwear that fits properly.
• Use the closures of footwear to get a secure fit.
• Wear footwear that supplies traction. Rubber remains grippy in colder temperatures, while polyurethane gets harder and more slippery on ice in colder temperatures.
• Use commercial products to melt ice and increase grip on driveways, walks and stairs.
• Use ice “creepers’’ or studded boots if available. One alternative is golf shoes. A number of commercial footwear products are available for winter conditions.
• Use handrails when available.
• Take small steps to maintain better balance.
• The addition of commercial grit paint to concrete stairs can help you get better traction on those surfaces.
• When needed, use aids such as canes, walking sticks, or walkers.
• When you leave the house, make sure someone knows you have left and give them an estimated time of when you will return.
• Take a whistle or noise device when you leave the house to call for help if you have fallen and are injured. Carry your car keys and activate "panic" alarm if you fall and are injured.
• Check on older neighbors and family members frequently.