How Can I Help My Loved One Avoid Slips and Falls This Winter?

The prospect of trips and falls is nerve-wracking any time of year, but during the winter, that concern is twice as prominent. The cold weather brings slippery ice and snow, which can be quite dangerous for your elderly loved one. A nasty fall can result in serious injury, especially for people aged 60 and up.

With all this to worry about, you may be wondering “how can I help my loved one avoid slips and falls this winter?” In addition to the steps you should have previously taken to prepare your aging loved one for cold weather, remember these tips.

How Can I Help My Loved One Avoid Slips and Falls This Winter?

Make sure they have the correct footwear

This time of year, your loved one’s favorite pair of tennis shoes are not enough. Make sure your loved one has high-quality snow boots that will not only keep them warm, but keep them upright. Shoes with good traction should have deep grooves of rubber, which allow the shoe a stronger “grip” on the path.

This article on SoleReview goes into more detail about the best shoes for walking on ice, and what makes them superior. Use this list as a guideline for finding the highest-quality boot. For days that are particularly icy, however, consider purchasing shoe spikes.

Keep walkways clear

One of the most daunting aspects of winter is having to shovel or plow snow. Despite the undesirable nature of the chore, it is crucial for keeping your elderly loved one safe. Monitor the weather service, and when winter weather conditions look unfavorable, make a plan for snow and ice removal.

This might mean getting up early or staying up at night to shovel and salt a path. If you don’t have time to do this on your own, you could hire a snow removal service. You could even ask your elderly loved one’s neighbor if they would be willing to help. For a quick solution to ice, consider keeping a sandbag by their front door, but be aware that it is less effective as time goes by.

Follow these tips to help your loved one stay safe

Encourage them to move slowly

If there was only one word to remember this winter season, it would be “patience.” Slow, short strides will help keep your loved one steady as they go for walk, or even just get to the car. Think about how a penguin waddles across the ice. That is the best way to lower one’s risk of falling.

When a surface looks icy, don’t take a chance. Have your loved one tap the surface before stepping on it so they know whether or not it’s safe. These precautions may slow you down, but they’ll also make sure you’ll arrive at your destination safely.

A caregiver can make sure your loved one stays safe at home

While you run out to find the supplies you need to help your loved one avoid slips and falls this winter, a caregiver can make sure they stay safe at home. At Home Care Powered by AUAF, our staff can assist with personal care, meal preparation, brain games, and so much more.

If you already act as your loved one’s family caregiver and you’re curious how you can be compensated for your work, call us at 773-274-9262. We’ll be happy to speak with you about either of our programs.

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