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Medical Monday : Slips, Trips, and Fall Preventions

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 10:21 AM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -Ice and snow can lead to serious falls for older friends and neighbors, but the real danger is inside the house. Kelly O’Mara has this weeks Medical Monday.

Slips and falls can hurt, but as you get older, it becomes more and more dangerous.

Timothy Bryce: Accidental falls are the number one injury causing death in the world, not in the United States, in the world in older adults, adults over 60 years old. So, we see major injuries because our bone density is not as strong, our muscle mass is not as strong to protect us. We have a lot more of those fracture bones, those fracture bones can lead to a poor quality of life as well as shortened life.

There is an increase during the winter months of outside falls as snow and ice cover side walks, drive ways and parking lots.

“The problem we see with people is they rush around, don’t allow much time. So, allowing more time would be important to do, slow your steps down, taking smaller steps is important. Then on top of that it’s proper foot wear. A nice rubberized shoe that’s good for walking on rough surfaces. We also recommend for older adults wearing a shoe with cleats on them.”

Bryce adds a walking cane or having someone with you you can lean on are also helpful. You also need to clean the area well. Removing as much ice and snow as possible. But while the outside can be difficult to navigate, Bryce says the majority of falls actually happen inside the home.

“60% of falls happen within the house. Number 1′s throw rugs on threshholds. They’re the number one. Footwear, where people are wearing slippers or socks with slippery bottoms. They slip that way. That’s probably number two and then just cords here and there are a big thing.”

Vision checks are important. make sure your eyes are working well. Lightings important. And especially at Christmas time when we’re dealing with cords here and there and different kind of lighting around.

Sometimes the act of trying to prevent yourself from falling can lead to the worst injury, especially of arms, shoulders and your head and your back. Bryce suggests if you feel yourself starting to fall, try curling up vs reaching out to steady yourself. That will help protect you as you hit the floor. And of course, if you do fall, it’s important to seek medical attention to ensure your injuries are not serious. Kelly O’Mara, NewsSource 8.>

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