Slips, Trips and Falls: Wet Weather Safety for Older People

Shelley Wenger
Shelley Wenger at Canva

Slips, trips, and falls are the main cause of injuries in older people. This is especially true for those who use things to help them move around, such as wheelchairs and scooters.

Wet weather makes it even worse. Surfaces, both inside and outside, are more slippery, making it even easier to slip or fall. These falls can injure an older person, sometimes seriously. This can lead to needing more help at home, though it could also land the victim in a facility where someone can care for them properly.

What can you do to avoid slips, trips, and falls in wet weather?

You should wear appropriate footwear. You will want to wear sneakers that have good traction and grip. Rubber soles are usually better than vinyl or leather shoes. You also need to make sure that your shoes fit properly. Ill-fitting shoes can increase your chances of tripping.

Take care of your mobility aids. If you use a walker or wheelchair, you need to keep it working properly. This may mean checking the bolts on it and replacing any wheels that don't have enough tread.

Keep your home and outside clutter-free. Many older people trip and fall over the clutter in their homes, whether it's too many end tables in their living room or the piles of bricks on their walkway.

You should also keep it well maintained. If you have a pothole in your walkway, that's a hazard, so get it fixed right away. The same goes with any loose bricks or pavers that may trip you up.

Make sure that you have enough lighting. You might need to get better lighting in your home in order to see things as clearly as possible. You should also have plenty of lighting outside so that you don't fall on your way to or from the car in the evening.

Wet weather can come inside on your shoes, so it is important to dry them off properly. If you don't, you are just going to make your floors more slippery, which makes it more likely that you will slip and fall in your home.

Even better, you may want to add anti-slip mats around your home. This will make sure that you always have your footing when you are walking around your home.

Many people like to use grab rails and ramps in and around their homes to help with mobility. If you have a few steps to get into your home, a ramp may make it easier. Rails can also give you something to hold onto as you move around your home.
Shelley Wenger at Canva

The wet weather makes everything harder. During the wetter seasons in many places, it gets dark earlier, so moving around and doing what you like can be challenging. Paths are often slippery, and you can even bring the moisture inside, making it easier to slip inside your home. That being said, good shoes can make a difference. You also want to make sure that your mobility aids are working the way that they should.

Good lighting is essential, both in and outside your home, as well as keeping everything clutter-free. You don't want to trip over something that you forgot to put away. A broken brick could also trip you up, so make sure that the outside of your home is well maintained.

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Shelley is a small town farm mom of two boys. She is a veterinary technician, so she is proud to write about all kinds of animals and their care. She also loves to write about writing, running a business, working from home, and much more.

Glenville, PA

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