Winter is almost here, and this means icy streets and slippery driveways. These can trigger painful falls, especially in older people. Muscle tears, fractures, strained knees and numerous other injuries caused by falls can lead to more severe health conditions, particularly in the body of an older person.
A study published in 2010 highlighted that 50% of falls that happen among older people occur outside. Falls cost $20 billion/year in healthcare costs in the US. Those over 65 experience falls throughout the year, not just in the winter. Fortunately, they can be prevented. Here are some guidelines you might want to consider.
1. Improve balance
When your muscles are tight, casual falls won’t trigger severe pain; of course, it’s always better to avoid falling in the first place, but what can you do if someone accidentally collides with you on the street? Work on your balance as often as you can, and invest in quality footwear. In wintertime, falls happen all the time and they can be avoided if you wear the right shoes. Boots with excellent traction are highly recommended.
2. Take baby steps on ice
Walking on ice is treacherous for people of all ages. In order to thwart falls, you should shuffle, not stride. This basically means taking baby steps until you move onto a safer walking surface. Keep your knees bent and your feet apart from each other to find balance; then start walking slowly. It’s sometimes tough to do, but it’s the only way to prevent a fall.
3. Wear suitable clothes
It’s wintertime, and during the Christmas season you might indulge in a few drinks with your loved ones. Don’t overdo it. Indulging too much could interfere with your balance. Also, if you’re taking medication and drink alcohol, you could have serious balance problems. It’s best to limit your intake, or just take a break if you’re planning on walking and shopping.5. Exercise with a caregiver
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