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Parish Nursing Bulletin



"Fall Savvy" Promotes Winter Safety

Now that winter has finally arrived, it's timely to remember about the danger of falls and how to protect ourselves. At any age we can have a fall, but the risk factors and harmful consequences increase as we age. Visual impairments, joint stiffness, balance problems and fragile bones put the elderly at significant risk for broken bones from a fall. So, do we hibernate over winter, afraid to go anywhere? Absolutely not! Some basic safety precautions can help protect us while we enjoy life.

Outdoor Safety
· Young people are most at risk from winter sports, but these activities are key to enjoying the season. Make sure your clothing provides warmth, protection and good visibility. Keep equipment in good shape. When you are getting tired, stop! Judgement is impaired and reflexes are slower when you're tired.
· Older people are at great risk from falls on icy streets. The beautiful blanket of snow can hide uneven ground surfaces and ice. Walk on bare surfaces where possible, focus on where you're stepping, take smaller steps and use handrails, canes or someone's arm over difficult spots. Stay in if it's too icy.

Indoor Safety
· Use grab bars and rubber mats in the bathtub.
· Keep pathways clear of small objects and scatter rugs.
. Use floor mats with nonskid backing.
· Use nightlights for better vision.
· Wear low-heeled shoes with nonskid soles
· Get up slowly if you're on blood pressure medication.
· Have regular check-ups and exercise regularly.
. See your doctor if you have a fall.

A few simple safety precautions can help us enjoy a safer, active winter.


© 2009 Parish Nursing Ministry