Senior Winter Safety Guide
Every year when the weather turns, seniors face a greater risk of everything from hypothermia to slips and falls to car accidents. This senior winter safety guide is an essential resource for anyone over 65 and caregivers for our senior population.
Part 3: How to Prevent Slips and Falls in Winter Weather
These icy and snowy conditions put us all at high risk of slipping and falling. Occupational Therapists recommend routine exercise year-round to help with stability and balance to reduce falls, but there are some other important precautions you can take, or if you are a caregiver, you can provide for your senior loved ones.
- Ensure that all walkways are clear before you walk. Beware of wet pavements that could be iced over.
- Shovel away snow and salt your walkways at home or hire someone to do it regularly so you can rest assured when icy days surprise you.
- Wear boots with non-skid soles – this will prevent you from slipping.
- If you use a cane, remember to replace the rubber tip (before it is worn smooth)
- Try out an ice pick-like attachment that fits onto the end of the cane for additional traction.
- Clean up clutter on your front porch or yard so that the route from your home to your car or sidewalk is clear and safe all year round.
- Consider carrying some kitty litter or sand in a bag to take with you on your walk and toss on the icy ground in front of you.
- Always bring a cell phone with you so should a fall occur; you can call for help.
If a fall does happen, stay calm. Do not get up right away or let anyone help you up immediately as this could pose risk of further injury. Take a few moments to assess how you are feeling, then if you can safely move, roll to one side, bend your knees towards your body and push yourself up with your arms. If you’re unable to or feel as though it’s unsafe to stand up, call someone or ask a passerby to call for help.
If you feel like you or your loved one requires more regular support to stay safe in the winter, it might be time to consider retirement living, where shoveling, salting, and safety precautions are taken care for you. Contact our team today to learn more about the transition to retirement living.