7 Ways to Prevent Falls This Winter

Sleety? snowy? slippery? Stay on your feet with these fall-prevention tips.

Health Monitor Staff
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When it’s slippery outside, it makes sense to fortify yourself against falls, a leading cause of injury and serious complications—especially among seniors.

Shop for shoes here. Websites that sell shoes designed for work crews, like ShoesForCrews.com. Many brands have come out with lines of casual footwear for men and women that boast the same slip-resistant technology that keeps crews safe on the job.

Stay on the path. Avoid shortcuts off established walkways. Even if it’s not snowy or icy, gravel, tree roots and other objects can trip you.

Keep your eyes peeled for “wet” spots. Black ice often masquerades as shallow puddles. So tap the area with your foot to test the surface before walking over it.

Get a cane, if you need one. Do you lose your balance often? Lean on walls and furniture to get from point A to point B? Invest in a cane. As one cane user observes: “I have noticed when I use my cane, people are much more considerate. They will step aside instead of running into me.”

Keep salt curbside. Keep a container of salt or sand at the end of your driveway or walkway. In case you get home and it’s snowed or sleeted, you can salt or sand your way back to safety.

Give yourself extra time. Trip-ups often happen when you’re in a rush. So leave early—that way, you can maintain a comfortable pace.

Get in and out of cars with care. Many falls occur when folks step on a slick surface while entering or exiting their vehicle. To be safe, face the car, and always try to keep at least three points in contact with it—either a hand and two feet, or two hands and a foot.

December 2013