Winter weather can lead to devastating slips, trips, and falls.
Below are five simple steps that YOU can take this winter to reduce falls.
- Raise awareness: Read and share our infographic—6 Steps to Prevent a Fall.
- Ask for a falls risk screening: When you visit your primary care provider, ask your doctor to conduct a screening for falls risk, like the STEADI fall risk screening. Use the results to discuss concerns and strategies to reduce your risk with your doctor, friends, and family.
- Carry kitty litter for slick surfaces: Carry a little bag filled with a lightweight kitty litter in your pocket and cast it out ahead of yourself as you're walking on slick surfaces.
- Give the gift of falls prevention: There are many tools that can be useful in reducing your risk for falls. Consider adding the following items to your shopping list for yourself or others: motion-sensored fall alarm systems; higher toilet seats; multifocal glasses with single vision eyeglass lenses; grab bars; firm stair railings; lights over stairways and by outside entrances; a table to set down bags while finding keys; and flashlights to attach to keys, hats, and coat buttons.
- “Winterize” shoes, boots, and assistive devices
- Attach spikeless ice and snow shoe gripper sole covers to shoes for extra stability when walking on slippery surfaces. Look for these at sporting goods stores.
- Choose winter shoes with rubber soles to maintain traction on slippery surfaces.
- Attach an ice gripper cane tip that has spikes on the bottom to penetrate the ice and secure a firm grip. Ice grip tips can be purchased online.
- Try these tips for using a wheelchair safely in the snow.
Source: Mindy Oxman Renfro, PT, PhD, DPT