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How To Fall (Safely) On Ice – Tips For Older Adults

An older man after he has fallen safely on ice.

As part of our winter fall prevention tips for seniors, let’s go over some steps on how you can fall safely. Actors do it all the time!

While you hope that your or the senior in your life never has to experience the terror of falling on ice, it’s always best to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

Unfortunately, slips and falls are all too common during the winter months, especially for older adults.

But fear not – with a few simple tips and techniques, you can drastically reduce the chances of falling on ice and ensure that if it does happen, you’ll fall safely.

Steps to Fall Safely on Ice

  1. Stay Relaxed: When you feel yourself starting to fall, try to relax your body. Tense muscles can lead to more severe injuries.
  2. Protect Your Head: If falling backward, tuck your chin to your chest to avoid hitting your head. If falling forward, turn your head to the side.
  3. Bend Your Elbows and Knees: This makes your body more flexible and able to absorb the impact better.
  4. Fall Sideways if Possible: Try to direct your fall to the side. Falling on your buttocks or hip can be less damaging than falling backward or forward.
  5. Avoid Using Your Hands and Wrists to Catch Yourself: In an attempt to break a fall, many people instinctively put their hands out in front of them. However, this can result in wrist fractures or other hand injuries. It’s better to try and roll into a fall if possible.
  6. Use Your Arms to Protect Yourself: If falling backward, let your buttocks hit the ground first, then use your arms to guide your body into a lying position. If falling forward, use your arms to shield your face, but be careful not to extend your arms straight out, as this can cause wrist injuries.
  7. Roll with the Fall: Try to roll with the momentum of the fall, which can help distribute the force of the impact across a larger area of your body. This can help prevent more severe injuries.
  8. Avoid Getting Up Too Quickly: Take your time getting up and make sure that you are steady before attempting to stand. If possible, try to find something sturdy to hold onto for support.
  9. Seek Medical Attention if Necessary: If you experience any pain or discomfort after falling on ice, seek medical attention immediately. Even if you feel fine at the moment, it’s always better to be safe and get checked out by a doctor.

Of course, using appropriate footwear like ice cleats are imperative when getting outdoors during the winter time.

In conclusion, falling on ice can be a scary and potentially dangerous experience, especially for older adults.

However, by following these simple tips and techniques, you can reduce the likelihood of a serious injury from a fall.

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