By: Rae Daniels
PLATTE CITY, Mo. — With icy weather, more people are prone to take a tumble.
According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Missouri’s fall injuries are 31 percent higher than the national average.
It states it’s also the leading cause in injury deaths in people 65 and older.
Kathy Armitage, an active lifestyle program director at the Platte County Community Center, teaches members all about fall prevention.
“Falling costs thousands of dollars,” Armitage said. “It’s a broken arm, it’s a trip to the emergency room. It just impacts the whole family, not just the individual.”
For Armitage, making sure people watch their step is personal.
“My father and my mom went out one day to go shopping, and it was a November day and it was raining and they got out, my father got out of the car and went to shut the door and he fell backwards and he hit his head,” Armitage said. “He was taken to the emergency room and because of the complications of that fall he died in April.”
During the colder months, people can be at a higher risk for falls.
“Because of ice, sand, dirty garages, even in your own home coming in if your feet are wet on hardwood floors or tile floors,” she said. “It’s sunny out today, but guess what? There’s a lot of black ice in those shaded areas that you don’t see.”
Before stepping out the door, make sure you have the right footwear.
Armitage recommended shoes with rubber soles.
“You can also buy spike slip-ons that can go over your shoes that can get you a better grip,” Armitage said.
If you do fall, don’t be in a rush to get back up.
“Because of embarrassment when you fall in a public place, you want to jump right up and say, ‘Hey I’m okay,’ when in actuality sometimes you’re not okay and you’ve broken hips and shoulders and wrists,” Armitage said.
Show Me Falls Free Missouri Coalition recommends also try rolling with the fall if you do fall forward.
She also recommends exercising on a regular basis to strengthen your back, quads and glutes.
Walkers should also be aware of changes in surfaces.
Many falls are caused when someone doesn’t notice they’re moving from a sturdy surface to a slippery one.
Click here are a few more tips from the Show Me Falls Free Missouri Coalition.