Keeping your elderly family member safe from slipping and falling requires your vigilance. You can also educate your family member to encourage personal responsibility as well.
Developing good safety habits becomes extra necessary during a Minnesota winter. Wet, slippery and icy conditions can create dangerous hazards that require extra care to safely navigate.
Watch out for ice
Perhaps the most obvious danger during the wintertime for your elderly family member is the possibility of slipping and falling on ice. According to Care.com, experts recommend that you focus on getting your family member a good pair of winter shoes with significant traction and non-skid soles. If your loved one requires walking assistance, check the condition of his or her cane tip or walker and replace worn rubber.
Encourage your family member to avoid going out unless the roadways and sidewalks have cleared. If they must go out, try to arrange to accompany them and provide stability and assistance. Once your family member returns home, encourage immediate removal of wet shoes to reduce the risk of slipping and falling indoors.
Get immediate help
Plan ahead for the possibility of a fall so you have a plan in place to get your family member immediate help. Make sure your loved one has relatively easy access to a phone or other form of communication to notify someone of a fall. Because older people are more susceptible to injuries resulting from a fall, a timely response to the call for help can be a matter of life or death for your family member. Getting medical help even for unseen fall injuries can prevent deterioration of your family member’s health.