How to avoid a trip or fall this Winter

With winter fast approaching, the temperatures continue to take a downward spiral, and physical hazards start to increase. Poor weather conditions, such as heavy rain, ice and snow, increase the likelihood of falls and injuries (UKHSA). 

A survey commissioned by Age UK has found that millions of older people are worried about falling over, with 4.3 million (36%) saying it topped their list of concerns. 

Whilst everyone is at risk of a trip or fall, people aged 65 and older are at greater risk; around a third of people aged 65 and over, and around half of people aged 80 and over, fall at least once a year (

While those statistics are concerning, this does not mean that you need to stay indoors all winter.

At Red Button, we are passionate about promoting independence and a safe and happy life for the elderly, we certainly don’t want you to fear going outdoors. With some simple adjustments, you can help to protect yourself from a fall.

Here are some of our top tips to avoid a fall this Winter:

Stay active – According to Age UK, as we get older, our muscle strength and balance reduce, which can lead to a fall. Exercises designed to improve muscle strength can reduce your risk of a fall by improving your posture, coordination and balance. Check out some low-impact sports to help keep you active.

Plan ahead – Look ahead at the weather forecast and plan your day/week around poor weather conditions. For example, if it is looking very cold with the possibility of frost towards the end of the week, you might consider doing your food shopping earlier in the week. Also, plan your route ahead of time. If you know an area is particularly susceptible to ice, then perhaps take a different route, even if it is slightly longer. 

Footwear – Choosing shoes that fit well and have a good grip will help reduce the risk of falls.  Avoid sandals and slippers that are loose and have poor soles.  Make sure your shoes give you the right comfort and support with a low heel.

Slow down – There is no rush. Take your time, particularly if the ground is slippery from heavy rain or ice. Walk slowly, taking small steps to keep your balance. Pay close attention to your footing and your next step to avoid ice patches. Remember to keep your hands free and out of your pockets, as this can help with your balance. 

Assistance – Use assistance where possible, such as handrails, non-slip steps, a walking stick or other mobility aids. You might even choose a route with handrails to reduce the risk of a fall and reassure you.

If you still have concerns over falling, then perhaps you should consider a Falls Detector Package for indoors or a Telecare Digital Watch for outdoors. Our telecare packages help to give you the reassurance and confidence that if you have a fall, you can get help fast, so you no longer have to avoid going outdoors in the winter months.

How does it work? 

Our Telecare Digital Watch is for those who are out and about. It has an inbuilt easy-touch SOS button, which, when linked to our monitoring centre, can raise an alarm anywhere you go – be it indoors or outdoors. Our 24/7 monitoring centre will contact your emergency responders or emergency services as required. Additionally, with the GPS location function, they will be able to pinpoint you accurately to direct responders to you quickly.

All our packages can be purchased monthly or annually from as little as 33p per day.

Read more about our packages.

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