Falls can occur at any time and can be especially dangerous for the elderly population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 million people suffer from falls each year, and one in three are seniors.
HomeGoesStrong.com recently spoke with fall expert Mike Ross, author of The Balance Manual, who gave his best advice for keeping seniors safe from tumbles.
A key way to stay safe this winter is for seniors to keep a shovel and deicer products inside their homes. This way, if snow falls during the night, residents will have the capability to dig themselves out. However, seniors who aren't well or physically able should call either family members or a neighbor to do the heavy lifting instead.
Bringing a cellphone or wearing a medical alert system at all times may also help in case of a fall. Whether going to get the mail or for a walk around the block, these devices can provide an elderly person with an outlet to call for help. Without one, an individual could fall and be stuck for an undetermined amount of time.
According to Ross, another important factor when thinking about falls is to leave extra time to get things done. Rushing is one of the main factors of a fall, as it's easy to miss a step or trip over a stack of magazines when a person is trying to get ready to go. By getting ready 10 minutes earlier, the need to hurry up subsides.