Stay Safe This Winter

Winter is fast approaching.  The days are getting darker and the temperature is dropping.  The run up to Christmas and Easter can be exciting to some people.  However, winter is a particularly hazardous time for the elderly and vulnerable people.  The drop in temperature not only exacerbates preexisting medical conditions but also increases the risk of falls and associated injuries in the elderly population.  Treacherous weather conditions increases the risk of slips and trips that can result in hip fractures, etc. and hence admission to hospitals.  Even when a fall does not cause serious injury, the fear of falling again often leads to reduced confidence, self imposed limitations to mobility, depression and loss of independence.  Nevertheless a fall in the elderly especially in the winter months is not inevitable and the risk can be reduced or even prevented by making small changes to everyday life.  It is important that older people plan in advance and have coping mechanisms in place for the coming winter months.  Everyday tasks such as grocery shopping or a visit to the doctor’s office which we take for granted, becomes a difficult task for the elderly, so it is important to include friends and family when planning for winter months.Holiday Tips

Tips for Winter

1. Keep warm to reduce health risks such as respiratory illnesses.

2. Eat a healthy and balanced diet to maintain good bone health.

3. Too many medications increases the risk of falls.

4. Adaptive devices such as walking frames and perching stools and using proper adaptive equipment can help maintain independence in activities of daily living.

5. Maintaining strength and flexibility is important.

6. Reducing physical activities can increase risk of falls.

7. Be aware of the needs of the elderly.

8. Poor vision can lead to falls.

9. Wear appropriate footwear.

10. Check your home environment for hazards, like remove throw rugs, mats, trailing cords, clutter.  Have good lighting in the mobility area, night lights especially in the bedroom, bathroom and hallways.

11. Always feel the chair and/or bed before you sit down. This will ensure that you are square with the chair or bed and prevent you from sitting on the floor. This is one of the reasons why elderly people fall.

Here at MediLodge of Taylor we have highly qualified health professionals and a Safety Team that employ a variety of tools to perform a multi-factorial comprehensive assessment and we provide a program that helps to reduce the risk of falls.

Malawika Sabnis ( OTR/L)

MediLodge of Taylor

 

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