September is Fall Prevention Month, making it a great time to share information about safety for our senior loved ones during the upcoming winter months.
We observe Fall Prevention Awareness Day on the first day of Fall, September 22, putting a focus on the importance of doing things to keep our seniors safe from falls that could be disastrous for their independence.
Falls can occur whenever there is an change in plane such as lowering to the floor from a chair, bed or toilet.
The fear of suffering life-altering injuries from falling can keep your senior from being an engaged participant in life.
That means taking steps to keep them as safe as possible to prevent falls with injuries will be important to preserve a good quality of life for your senior loved one.
Winter Fall Prevention
Many of us are still feeling the heat of summer, but it’s a good time — before the cold winds, ice and snow begin — for some tips to help you prepare to keep senior loved ones safe and hopefully free from falls this winter.
- Be sure they are wearing properly fitting shoes whenever your senior leaves the house (and even inside the house).
- Remind them not to wear slippers that are loose to get the newspaper, mail or to check out the weather since that can lead to slipping.
- Shoes with good traction in the snow and ice, even for a short trip, are important.
- Arrange for someone to keep the front steps, sidewalk, and driveway clear of snow and ice for your seniors.
- Keep ice melting material in supply to toss over front walkways as needed to de-ice.
- Ensure stairs and railings are in good repair to prevent tripping. This is especially important when they are covered with snow and any trouble spots are hidden.
- Install hand rails on both sides of stairs, including on the front and back porch or in the garage.
- Encourage your senior to stay active to keep their muscles strong year-round to avoid balance problems on the snow and ice in winter.
- What seniors eat is also important to safety. Eating a variety of healthy foods and taking supplements suggested by the doctor to keep their bones and muscles in good shape helps prevent injury should they fall.
We wish your senior good luck and safety this winter! Remember, preparation can reduce the need for good luck in avoiding falls.
Here are some additional stories packed with information to help you keep your senior loved one safe and free from injury as you both seek to prevent falls!