Winter Fall Prevention - Genesis Health System

Published on April 16, 2018

Keep Your Feet Under You With These Tips

When snowflakes and freezing rain fall, so do people and the falls can be dangerous.

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 Genesis emergency department staff:

•    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. Shoes with leather soles are among the most slippery.

•    Use commercial products to melt ice and increase grip on driveways, walks and stairs.

•    Be aware of the best walking routes to work or in your neighborhood.

•    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 “duck’’ 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, phone or noise-making 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.

•    Ask for assistance if available when crossing an icy sidewalk or street. Provide assistance for others.

•    Pay attention to the conditions.


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