What is the number 1 broken bone in people over the age of 65? (insert Jeopardy music here)
The answer is the hip. According to the University of Missouri School of Health Professions, broken hips account for over 300,000 injuries a year to those over 65. There are a million reasons why someone might fall but today we're going to discuss ice and some precautions to take to minimize the risk of falling this time of year.
Although we have had yet another mild winter, winter is not over yet and I'm sure (kind of sure) that we will get some snow, freezing rain, sleet and ice. So I have come up with a few precautions that you should take to avoid falling this winter.
Five Tips To Help Avoid a Broken Hip This Winter:
1. Watch the weather reports and give yourself extra time in the mornings to get to any morning appointments. If the weather man is calling for inclement weather overnight, set your alarm clock to give yourself an extra hour or so. Before you go to bed apply ice melt to your walk way. Pre-application of ice melt will help lower the temperature at which ice will freeze on the sidewalk.
2. Take a look out the window. There is no better weather report than looking out your window. If it looks like snow and/or ice is on the sidewalk or driveway, decide if you really need to go to this morning's appointment. Can you reschedule? Is this just breakfast out with some friends? Don't take unnecessary risks.
3. Wear sensible shoes. Wear a good fitting shoe with a non-slip tread. Take small steps and be extra careful with each step. Remember, you gave yourself some extra time this morning, so don't rush.
4. Do you have a good relationship with your neighbors? If so, ask the neighbor teenager to spread some ice melt or shovel your driveway and sidewalk. If you have the means give him or her a few dollars. Otherwise, tell him you'll make him some cookies or brownies for after school. I am the parent of teenagers. Trust me, they would rather shovel your driveway than their own.
5. Do you walk with a cane? So do I. I found ice cleats at the local medical supply store. They attach to the bottom of your cane and dig into the snow and ice giving a little extra traction. When you go inside the ice cleats fold up out of the way.
I hope these tips help keep you safe this winter. A fall with a hip fracture can be devastating. Do you have any tips to help keep your neighbors safe? I welcome comments to my blog.