Tread carefully this winter
Falls are the most common cause of accidental injury in older people and the most common cause of accidental death of people over the age of 75 in the UK. The costs of falls to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough health economy is more than £32 million per year.
A fall can cause distress, embarrassment, pain and loss of confidence and independence. Older people should remain active and independent but also need to take care when it is cold to reduce the risk of a fall.
Tips for staying steady, especially during winter are:
- Wear sturdy, well fitting suitable shoes outdoors
- Ensure steps and paths are clear before you walk. Be especially careful if you see wet pavements that could be iced over
- If you feel unsteady avoid going out when icy
- Make sure rubber tips on the end of sticks have a good tread – when they wear smooth
they can skid on wet surfaces and should be replaced.
- Wrap up warm outside and stay warm at home too as muscles work more efficiently when they are warm, helping to prevent falls. Set the living room temperature to 70f or 21c and the bedroom to 64f or 18c
- Make sure you have regular hot drinks during the day and get up and wallk around indoors for a few minutes regularly if you can do this safely