We had some freezing rain in Roanoke today, and I slipped in our office parking lot on the way into work. I am grateful I only fell a short distance (short legs help) and have pretty strong bones – but it occurred to me, that we need to be very vigilent in preventing falls of elderly as the weather turns cold and sidewalks ice.
According to American Family Physicians, falls are the top cause of accidents in people over the age of 65. Falls are also the main cause of serious injuries and accidental deaths in older people.
What causes falls? Well according to the article,
- The normal changes of aging
- Illnesses and physical conditions can affect your strength and balance
- Poor lighting or throw rugs
- The side effects of some medicines can upset your balance and make you fall.
What can I do to prevent falls?
- Wear shoes with nonskid soles
- Be sure your home is well lit
- so that you can see things you might trip over
- Have grab bars put in your bathtub, shower and toilet area
- Have handrails put on both sides of stairway
- Don’t wax your floors at all, or use a non-skid wax
- Have sidewalks and walkways repaired so that surfaces are smooth and even
Please be safe – and if your loved one is in a nursing home, the risk is still there – in fact, a new environment may increase that risk. Please tell the staff if they have fallen in the last year and if it happens frequently, consider removing them from the facility,