Preventing Weather-Related Falls

Autumn can be a dangerous season, with its wet slippery leaves, and the winter months can pose a danger with black ice. Both of these weather-related scenarios make many people scared of falling.

The good news? Falls are preventable! Working with a skilled physical therapist is a great way to assess and reduce your risk for falls. Physical therapists are experts trained in identifying and treating risk factors such as weakness, poor balance, and difficulty walking. By designing a customized exercise program as well as providing hands-on treatment, a physical therapist is equipped with all of the tools to prevent potentially disabling falls.

Most falls occur due to a combination of risk factors, but can be reduced with a level of awareness and some extra planning. Some prevention actions you can take during the colder months include:

  • Wear anti-slip footwear and proper clothing to keep warm. Shoes with plastic soles or other slippery-soled shoes are quite hazardous when dealing with already slippery surfaces.
  • Keep the walkway from your driveway to your door or garage free of debris.
  • Melt down icy pathways by covering with salt or something gritty and non-slippery.
  • Keep the floors inside your house clean, especially around where people walk into your house. Use floor mats for your shoes or rugs to dry your feet off.

For a complete list of risk factors for falls in general, visit Falls Prevention and Physical Therapy: What You Need to Know.

As part of an effort to reduce the occurrence of falls within our community, Sports PT is proud to offer a Falls Prevention Assessment. For more information, call your nearest Sports PT location or contact us at info@sptny.com

Reference:

www.cdc.gov/injury/STEADI#sthash.5yFclpvD.dpuf

http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/health/InjuryPrevention/WeatherRelated/WinterCold/index.htm

http://www.fallpreventiontaskforce.org/documents/jan2007_000.pdf