Winter Safety and Fall Prevention Tips
Unfortunately there is always a risk for falls in any weather condition, but this risk is increased during the winter months. The winter months bring ice and snow along with the unfortunate task of shoveling our sidewalks and driveways. Med1Care Therapy Partners wants to decrease your fall risk as much as we can so here are some helpful tips to get you through this winter season!
- Wear appropriate footwear! The best footwear option for preventing falls on slippery surfaces are ones with rubber treads. You should avoid high heels, shoes that have open backs, and leather treads. The best non-slip shoes for winter have anti-skid treads and grooved or patterned tread for added friction on wet surfaces like ice and snow.
- Be cautious and allow for extra time. If you know you need extra time to get to your doctor’s appointment or work and the weather is less than ideal- give yourself an extra 15 minutes! When we rush we tend to be less aware of our safety and surroundings which increases our risk for falls.
- If you are able, make sure to keep your path clear! Putting salt down on sidewalks will decrease the risk of slipping on ice and having your driveway shoveled or plowed will allow for easier access to get to your car. If you are unable to shovel or plow your
driveway- don’t hesitate to ask for help!
- Use proper body mechanics when shoveling snow. Always bend your knees, keep your back straight, stomach muscles tight and the shovel close to your body. You should lift the snow with your whole body, not just your upper body and back.
- Walk with a wide base of support. Instead of keeping your feet close together when walking, you should increase your base of support by widening your legs to walk. Think of how a penguin walks- wide base of support and arms out to the side to assist with
balance. If you do walk with an assistance device such as a cane, it may be a good idea to utilize a walker to increase your point of contact and stability.
- Carry your cellphone or life alert device at all times. Sometimes falls are unavoidable and you may need to call for help. Be sure to carry your cellphone or life alert device if you need to leave your house this winter. You do not want to fall and have no way to call for assistance!
If you or a loved one are at high risk for falls and would like balance and gait training/support please call Med1Care Therapy Partners at 419.866.0555! We are happy to assist you and decrease your risk for falls this winter! We offer Outpatient Therapy and Rehab for all ages!