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How to Reduce the Risk of Slip and Fall Injuries during the Fall Season

Fall SeasonPrograms for slip and fall prevention in Brooklyn help identify and minimize the risk of slipping and falling, thereby enabling seniors to avoid injuries. Fall season is the favorite season for many Americans. The weather during this season is tranquil and cool and perfect for a walk in the park, a bicycle ride or a run near the river, and all the leaves from the trees and plants change from plain green to vivid colors of gold and red, turning the world into a stunning painting. It is the best season for taking scenic pictures, spending quality time with family and eating good food. The days are shorter and the nights are cool and cozy. It is the Halloween season as well. However, elderly slip and fall accidents are much higher during the fall season. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually and one in four Americans aged 65 and older experience a slip and fall injury each year.

Some of the common causes of geriatric slip and fall in outdoor areas during the fall season are leaves on the ground, short days, long nights and dark sidewalks, puddles and other wet and slippery surfaces, and ice and snow. The factors that make the home environment unsafe for this group are poor vision, weak muscles, unsteady gait and balance, dementia, usage of certain medicines such as tranquilizers, sedatives or antidepressants, wet and slippery floors and poor lighting, broken or uneven steps, and loose throw rugs or clutter.

Tips to Prevent Slip and Fall Injuries

Here are some safety tips for seniors and caregivers that could help prevent slip and fall injuries during the fall season.

  • Keep walkways clear of leaves with a rake, leaf blower, or vacuum
  • Use salt and sand to create traction on ice and snow
  • Keep working areas and walkways well lit when it is dark
  • Reschedule outings if the weather is really bad
  • Remove piles of newspapers, magazines, boxes, and shoes in the home that are trip hazards
  • Remove loose throw rugs and use non-slip mats especially in the tub and shower
  • Choose the best slip-resistant shoes
  • Install brighter light blubs throughout the home and use nightlights in darker areas
  • Make sure that prescribed medications don’t cause drowsiness or disorientation that could increase the risk of falling
  • Check eyeglass prescription every year
  • Perform regular physical activities to strengthen the muscles and improve balance, coordination, and flexibility

Reliable healthcare and rehabilitation centers provide comprehensive elderly fall prevention programs to reduce their risk of falling.

Slip and Fall Prevention Programs

Typically, it is a six-week program managed by geriatric care specialists, pain management physicians and orthopedists. These experienced healthcare professionals perform a series of tests to identify the factors that put you at the risk of falling.

  • Falls Risk Assessment – This comprises evaluation of the patient’s muscular strength, balance, walking speed, step length, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness. In addition to that, they will ask general health questions and conduct blood pressure and heart rate test, balance test, walking test, and knee and ankle strength test.
    After the assessment, the conditioning part of the program is implemented. This involves developing customized solutions to modify the risk factors.
  • Conditioning Program – It consists of biodex isokinetic testing and exercise to improve ankle and leg strength, dynamic balance testing and training to help maintain physical balance even under challenging conditions, and gait testing and training to manage walking speed and step length.

Fall season is here. With proper care, precautions and safety awareness, you and your loved ones can enjoy the crisp and cool air and other advantages the season promises, while avoiding some of its related risks.

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