reducing senior fall risk

How to Reduce the Risk of Falls and Slips in Summer

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6 Tips to Help Senior Loved Ones Enjoy an Injury-Free Summer

Slips and falls are most commonly associated with the winter months for the obvious reason that walkways tend to be wet and slippery during the colder months. But the truth is, accidents can happen at any time of year. In fact, summer can be just as risky as winter because the longer, warmer days will no doubt have you spending more time outside and partaking in activities.

As we age, avoiding slips and falls becomes increasingly important, regardless of the time of year. Here are six tips you’ll want to follow to help reduce your senior loved one’s risk of suffering a fall this summer.

#1: Exercise to Improve Your Senior Loved One’s Balance

The stronger your muscles are, the more balanced and coordinated you will be. Therefore, one of the best things you can do to help avoid falls is to start doing exercises that are designed to help improve your strength and balance. You can start by encouraging your senior loved one to take a yoga class or to follow these ten exercises that they can do in the comfort of their own home.

#2: Wear Appropriate Footwear

Wearing sandals might be ideal when you’re sitting on your porch, but they can increase your risk of a slip and fall should you decide to go for a walk in them. When venturing outside, make sure your senior loved one is always wearing appropriate footwear for the conditions. Their walking shoes should be sturdy, supportive, comfortable, and slip-resistant.

#3: Stay Hydrated

It can be easy to get dehydrated in the heat of the summer if you’re not careful. And, when you get dehydrated, you become lightheaded and dizzy and this will put you at a much higher risk of falling. Before going outside, make sure that your senior loved one is always drinking enough water. Try to keep outdoor activities to the cooler times of the day.

#4: Pay Attention to the Weather

Summer rains can leave sidewalks littered with debris and slippery puddles, both of which can make it easier for slips and falls to occur. Therefore, pay attention to the weather, so you know what to expect when your senior loved one leaves their home. If it’s supposed to rain, make sure they are prepared for it by wearing the appropriate footwear. Alternately, you can encourage them to stay inside and do some indoor exercises to get their daily workout in.

#5: Watch Your Step!

Sometimes, avoiding a fall is as simple as watching where you step. Unfortunately, when the weather is nice and the surroundings are pretty, we often lose sight of the simple things. Any time your senior loved one heads outside for a walk, make sure this tip remains at the forefront of their mind, especially when they’re walking in unfamiliar locations and terrain. Encourage them to always walk slowly and keep a watchful eye out for steep inclines, uneven surfaces, holes, and loose dirt.

#6: Use Mobility Aids if Necessary

Your senior loved one may not want to use a mobility aid, like a walking stick, walker, or special shoes but they can be essential for keeping them safe if they’re someone who has a high risk of falling. If your senior loved one’s doctor prescribes a walking aid, then by all means make sure they use it. It will help keep them healthy and safe this summer instead of recovering from a devastating slip and fall accident.

With summer finally here, you’re no doubt anxious to get outside, so you and your senior loved one can enjoy all your favorite activities again. So, get out there and have fun, but don’t overlook the things they need to do to stay safe and injury-free. Keep these six tips in mind and they’ll be able to enjoy an active summer filled with sunset strolls.

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