September 11, 2019

Autumn and winter safety checklist: Preventing falls

The weather is growing cooler, the days shorter and the air crisper. As we adjust to the changes of autumn, it’s an ideal time to make small changes to avoid falls. The following checklist will help you prepare yourself for the season.

Prevent falls this autumn and winter with a safety checklist

  • Leaves – Keep walkways and stairs free of leaves. As they accumulate or become wet, they become slippery.

  • Remove leave piles from porches, sidewalks and walkways often

  • Gutter – If you must use a ladder, make sure both feet and at least one hand are on the ladder.

  • Footwear – Non-skid boots ad shoes with plenty of traction can help prevent falls in wet or snowy weather.

  • Rain – Puddles and other wet surfaces can be hazardous. Consider rescheduling outings if the weather is bad.

  • Snow and ice – Keep sidewalks and driveways clear of ice and snow. Apply de-icing materials such as salt to reduce ice buildup.

  • Go slow – Take your time when moving from one location to another and step carefully.

  • Handrails – Look for walkways and pathways that offer a handrail. This can help you keep your balance.

  • Keep moving – Exercise will help you move freely and maintain balance on all walking surfaces, especially wet and icy.

  • Prepare for an emergency – The unpredictable Midwest weather can sometimes lead to power failures. Keep flashlights, with charged batteries, throughout your house. It’s easy to forget where things are in the dark.

  • Don’t be shy – Ask for help. Many family members, neighbors and community groups would be happy to help you with those autumn and winter chores.