How elderly and disabled people can avoid trips and falls in the winter

How elderly and disabled people can avoid trips and falls in the winter

The festive period is over, and we have already started to experience cold, icier weather this winter. January and February will inevitably become colder, and like last year, we may experience heavy snow. The picturesque frosty winter streets and houses laced with snow pose a higher risk of trips and falls. Each year, the NHS issues cold-weather warnings to encourage everyone to take care, particularly vulnerable people. Last year, the NHS stated that approximately one in three adults over the age of sixty-five who live on their own will fall over at least one during winter . Although slips and falls can occur at any time of the year, the risk is much higher during winter. Older and more vulnerable people often have to attend A&E because of a nasty fall, and at times these can lead to more severe injuries, like broken hips or bones. In 2016/2017 over 1,500 people had to be admitted to hospital after falling over in the ice or snow, so here are our top tips for avoiding slips and falls in winter. Taking extra care in icy, snowy weather is one of the primary ways to avoid slipping or falling during winter. Below we have listed X tips to help you, your loved ones or those in your care prevent slips and falls.

1. Take your time

Many of us have been guilty of rushing or running to catch a bus, tram, or to get to an appointment. However, it isn’t worth the risk. Take your time to get to your destination. If you are running late, look for an alternative way to get to your appointment or meeting by asking your friends, family or neighbours for a lift. If this is not possible, phone your local taxi company or a disability “ring and ride” service. Your safety is more important than being on time.

2. Plan ahead

If you know that you have a meeting or appointment in the morning or afternoon, pre-plan your route to give yourself plenty of time. Check the weather the night before, to be more prepared, or lfind an alternative way to travel to where you need to be.

3. Wear firm footwear

Try to wear firm boots or shoes with good grip to help with your balance over slippy pavements. Perhaps you have a party or social event to attend, you could pack a different pair of shoes to change into once you arrive. Sometimes, dressing to impress isn’t the best idea on icy roads/pavements. Also consider gear that you can add to the soles of your shoes for extra grip. These can be spikes or metal spirals like YakTrax.

4. Walking poles or sticks

Be sure to use your walking stick if you have one to help with your balance. Even if you don’t usually need the aid of a walking pole or stick they are great for providing support during winter. Take a look at our range of pretty walking sticks and walking stick bags if you don't want boring, grey accessories.

5. Stay vigilant

Ice can be very deceptive, so be sure to keep checking your path and route. Check for dark or wet areas on the footpaths and avoid black ice as best you can.
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