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Stay on your feet this winter!

Falls are very common, especially among  older adults age 65 and older.  According the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of four older adults fall each year in the United States, making falls a public health concern, particularly among the aging population. 

Additional Facts About Older Adult Falls -- from the CDC:

  • About 36 million older adults fall each year—resulting in more than 32,000 deaths.
  • Each year, about 3 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for a fall injury.
  • One out of every five falls causes an injury, such as broken bones or a head injury.
  • Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
  • More than 95% of hip fracturesexternal icon are caused by falling—usually by falling sideways.
  • Women fall more often than men and account for three-quarters of all hip fractures.

But falls are preventable and do not have to be an inevitable part of aging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To prevent falls specifically in inclement weather:

Here are several tips that can help reduce the risk of falling during the slippery winter months.

  • Walk slowly and deliberately
  • Wear boots or other slip-resistant footwear.
  • Keep outdoor steps and walkways in good repair with adequate outdoor lighting.
  • Arrange to have snow and ice removed from walkways and driveway.
  • Have handrails on both sides of outdoor stairs.
  • Be prepared for black-ice formation after some melting occurs.
  • Exercise caution when getting in and out of vehicles.
  • Watch for slippery floors when entering buildings, walk on plastic or carpet runners.
  • Avoid carrying items so hands/arms are free to move for stabilization. 
  • Use backpacks if possible.
  • Use a walker or cane for better stability.
  • Have a medical alert button or cell phone to call for help in an emergency.

 

For additional tips on cold weather safety in general, click here for guidelines from the National Institute on Aging.

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BayPath Elder Services, Inc

Caregiving MetroWest is a no-cost program of BayPath Elder Services, Inc. and was made possible in part by grants from the MetroWest Health Foundation.

Avidia Bank

BayPath Elder Services, Inc.'s Family Caregiver Support Program and Caregiving MetroWest are grateful for the generous support of our community partner, Avidia Bank, which helps us continue to give area family caregivers the information, resources and support they need.