January 13th, 2016

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6 Tips For a Fall-Free Winter

Fall prevention is something most people never think of, until something happens. The fact is that falls are the leading cause of injury among “older” adults, and a pretty common mishap among all ages, especially during these winter months. Regardless of age, scanning over this blog could just save you or a loved one from an injury.

Just remember that fall prevention is an investment in your independence (and who does not like being independent?). There are several ways to prevent falls, but I see I might lose you if I just compile a list. So inside this short story you will find 6 easy steps to prevent falls.

It was a cold stormy winter day. Anna was getting ready to meet up with friends at the local gym. Like most of us, Anna was running late, she quickly raced around her small apartment not thinking about anything else but getting there in time. She quickly filled up her water bottle, not noticing the spill that occurred on her floor. Anna left thinking…

“I’m running sooo late; I’ll just save time by wearing my gym clothes there.”

She stepped outside into our famous New England weather, wearing her gym sneakers. Well, we all know what happens when sneakers meet ice (hint- accident). Anna ended up in the emergency room. The end result was a broken ankle due to not wearing sensible shoes (Hint). The doctor prescribed a pain killer and told her to review all medications with her PCP for possible side effects, to prevent further falls. Anna was sent on her way with a pair of crutches and instructions on how to use them. Her friend Elsa drove her home. When they got there Anna had trouble navigating her icy stairs. With the assistance of her friend, hand rails and her crutches, she made it safely into her small apartment. Anna never thought at the age of 27 she would need the use of any assistive device, but here she was. Her friend also added grab bars in the shower with non-skid rubber duckies for added safety. Elsa went around her friend’s small apartment adding light to dark spaces to keep everything bright and well-lit. She noticed the spill on the floor, with the new night lights, and cleaned up another home hazard. Anna required Physical Therapy after the cast was removed, and learned that to decrease falls even at a young age, simple exercise that increases strength and balance, like yoga or tai chi, can be beneficial.

The moral of the story, Age does not matter, if you want to stay independent and healthy :

  1. Wear sensible shoes, enough said.
  2. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss different medication reactions and their side effects.
  3. Use assistive devices, like hand rails and nonslip treads.
  4. Light up your living space, keeping your home bright and light.
  5. Remove home hazards, i.e. items you can trip over or slip on.
  6. Keep moving, as in EXERCISE!

Following these simple steps will decrease your risk of falling, even in the most unpredictable weather!

One Response to “6 Tips For a Fall-Free Winter”

  1. WilliamBob says:

    I really liked your article post.Much thanks again. Keep writing.

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