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  • Leah Fischer, PT, DPT

Falling... A Slippery Slope

Winter is just around the corner, which means there will be snow, sleet, and ice. Are you

prepared to conquer these slippery surfaces?

The fear of falling often keeps people indoors during the winter months. Falling can cause significant injury and lead to physical decline. The fear of it can lead to inactivity, which leads to other health concerns like obesity, increased blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, depression, and osteoporosis. These health problems rise when the temperature drops, making this issue quite the slippery slope.

Decrease your risk

The first thing to do is be aware of the risk and your need to take action against it. Make sure your home is safe. The number one place of falling is in the residency. To improve home safety: remove throw rugs, secure loose cords and cables, ensure there is adequate lighting (night lights, etc.), and utilize railings on the stairs and grab bars in the bathroom. Be attentive to the cold weather outside by keeping your driveway shoveled and salted (neighborhood kids might be willing to earn some extra cash), watch out for black ice, and wear shoes that have non-skid soles or good traction. Seek additional help from medical professionals. A check up with your doctor can be beneficial to ensure good vision, cardiac condition, and proper medications. A visit with a physical therapist can improve balance, strength, coordination, and walking. Enhancing these skills can help decrease the risk of falling and, in the event of a fall, help you control your descent to the ground. Take action NOW, before the snow and ice arrive, so you can remain active all winter!

Increase your activity

  • Join a local recreation center or community-based exercise classes

  • Try water aerobics

  • Walk with friends around the mall

  • Practice balance inside the home, while next to a counter for safety:

  • standing on 1 foot

  • walking in a straight line

  • standing on a pillow or couch cushion. Start with 2 feet then progress to standing on 1 foot

  • Make a leaf angel or snow angel with friends and family

  • Bundle up and build a snowman with your kids or grand kids

Take an active stand for you and your family’s well being this season by considering all the ways to stay safe and enjoy the holidays together! Physical therapy can empower family members to get out and enjoy this wonderful time of year without fear of any slippery slopes.

#Falling #BalanceandCoordination #Balance #WinterisComing #FallRisk #HowtoReduceaFallRisk

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