It’s official. We’re right in the middle of the last week of summer. However, here in Calgary, it can be understood if you have the impression that the summertime ended long ago. Albertans are no strangers to winter weather conditions before the fall even begins. As a result, it’s incredibly important for us all to take measures to keep safe when venturing outdoors. This is especially true if you have elderly loved ones living in your home.
Believe it or not, the first few steps outside of your front door can be some of the most dangerous ones you take during the cold fall and winter seasons. Obviously, if there is snow or ice on your walkway, you’ll want to be sure to shovel it and/or place salt along the areas where you need to walk. Consider the fact that the weather doesn’t even have to be bad for the outdoor elements to present dangers to the seniors in your life.
Many falls occur outdoors.
“Nearly half of tumbles outdoors are related to walking, particularly on uneven sidewalks or tripping over curbs,” informs Lisa Randall on Patch.com, “Parks, gardens, patios, decks and porches also prove difficult for older adults to remain steady on their feet. More than 70 percent of people who fall outside land on a hard surface such as concrete, asphalt or stone.”
RightAtHome.net also reports that most outdoor falls are triggered by uneven surfaces. In fact, many falls occur right on our front porches. With this in mind, the site offers a number of outdoor fall prevention tips. They include the installation of good lighting on all stairs, walkways and the perimeter of the house.
“Cover walk areas such as porches and steps with weatherproof and textured paint for more traction,” advises RightAtHome.net, “Reduce the chance of slipping by adding abrasive strips or rubber stair treads, or use deck paint that has a rough texture. Keep steps, sidewalks, decks and porches free of obstacles/debris. Always use handrails when stepping on stairs.”
Outdoor fall prevention starts with you.
Dr. Rein Tideiksaar is a New Jersey-based gerontologist. Randall cites a number of his fall prevention methods in her article. Dr. Tideiksaar’s advice calls upon seniors to safeguard themselves against the many elements of the outdoors that could lead to slips and falls. Among them is the wearing of sunglasses to protect from the glare of the sun.
“Walk in well-lit areas in the evening to provide the most visibility for hazards,” Dr. Tideiksaar advises, “Walk hands-free using a fanny pack or an over-the-shoulder bag instead of a clutch purse. Wear hip pads or protectors while walking to ensure the protection of bones and to avoid hip fractures. Wear sturdy, low-heeled shoes for better balance (shoes that have rubber soles provide more traction).”
Find the mobility solution that is right for you.
Of course, the team at Advantage Home Health Solutions also highly recommends the use of a mobility solution such as a wheelchair, walker, rollator or scooter. These great mobility solutions are highly regarded for keeping seniors from falling whether they are inside or outside.
For more information about the mobility solutions offered by Advantage Home Health Solutions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!