Top Tips to Prevent Falls During Winter Months


Winter is here and seniors need to remain mindful of fall prevention. Older Americans can experience an unexpected fall during any time of year, but weather-related fall prevention is more commonplace in the winter. Seniors should keep in mind that there are greater dangers. These dangers can present themselves both outside and inside the home.

Seniors falling due to snow and ice is a notable risk, particularly in certain regions of the country[1]. Seniors should consider different fall prevention tips such as wearing appropriate foot attire to making sure you the walkways around your house are cleared and de-iced.

Older Americans should also consider investing in medical alert technology. During the winter months, personal safety alarm equipment can provide you with an extra sense of security. Alert1 has different types of medical alert devices for in the home, on-the-go, or with added fall detection technology. The On-the-Go + In-The-Home + Fall Detection package provides the highest level of protection and the peace of mind that seniors who have an unexpected fall will always have access to help.

Why are Fall Prevention Strategies Different in Winter than in Other Seasons?

Seniors should always be aware of fall prevention tips. However, methods to prevent falls may be different during the winter[2]. Some of the reasons why include:

  • Weather – If you live in certain parts of the United States, you may get snow during the winter months. Despite its beauty, snow can also obscure uneven pathways or steps or make them too slippery for safe passage.
  • Stiff joints – Our joints can stiffen during the colder months. Stiff joints can affect our balance and reflexes. If you find yourself with that problem, you may wish to consult a physician for medical guidance.
  • Overall vision – Our vision changes as we age. As a result, seniors do not always see black ice. Everyone should keep black ice in mind during the winter months to prevent falls and bad fall-related outcomes.
  • Usual methods may be ineffective – You may find that wearing supportive sneakers works well during the warmer months. However, these same sneakers may not offer an appropriate amount of traction in the winter months.
  • Riskier locations – The safety of certain areas can change as the seasons change. The reason these areas become dangerous is due to people not always noticing icy spots. If you drive, make sure to check the ground around your vehicle. Check for ice or slippery spots when entering and exiting your car.

For some elderly individuals, investing in medical alert technology makes good sense. Alert1 offers monthly and long-term options to its members. Unlike other companies, it will not lock its members into any contracts. Seniors who are more active can use the On-the-Go Medical Alert, while those who stay in most of the time may prefer the In-Home Medical Alert device.

Fall Prevention Tips for Winter Months

Seniors should remember that both physical and psychological factors can lead to an increased fall risk. General fall risk factors during the winter may include:

  • Age
  • History of falling
  • Declining vision
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Using multiple medications
  • Fear of falling
  • Weather-related conditions

The following tips will help you stay safer during the winter[3]:

  • Wear appropriate footwear. You want to make sure that you have footwear with good traction. It may seem instinctive to put on your slippers to get your mail. However, you should consider purchasing ice grippers for these daily treks.
  • Dress warmly. Staying warm will help to keep your muscles relaxed. If you have tense muscles, it can adversely affect your balance. Similarly, avoid going outside wearing a robe. You will risk exposure if you take a tumble on an icy driveway or pathway.
  • Take extra care as you get out of the car. Before you move, plant both of your feet firmly on the ground. Then, steady yourself by using the door frame. If you are driving with someone and it’s icy, ask if they will meet you on your side of the vehicle to help steady you.
  • Stick to cleared pathways. You should try to stay on cleared sidewalks and paths when you walk anywhere. Additionally, avoid walking between parked cars. Walking through grass can be just as slippery as walking on snow.
  • Take extra time to walk or drive places. Seniors should do their best not to rush. Instead, take short steps and point your toes slightly outward. By doing so, you will better maintain a stable base of support.
  • Avoid shadowy areas. Certain dark areas might have black ice. You might not be able to see these areas without proper lighting.
  • Pay attention. Keep your eyes focused on the surfaces ahead of you. Look for ice, potholes, cracks, or uneven terrain.
  • Keep the driveway and walkways clear. The walkways around your house can become dangerous quickly when snow starts to accumulate. Consider asking a considerate neighbor or loved one to shovel these areas. If that is not an option, consider paying someone to clear the walkways.
  • Wear your medical alert. Make sure you always wear your personal emergency response system (PERS). You should always have a way to contact someone if you need emergency assistance of any kind.
  • Carry kitty litter or sand in a bag. These items are useful for do-it-yourself “salting” when the grounds get icy. Either option can provide you with greater traction as you walk.
  • Consult with your primary care physician. Talk to your doctor if you think certain factors put you at a greater risk for falls. In some cases, your doctor may have ways to create preventative action plans.
  • Protect your bone health. All northern states in the United States are far away from the sun during the winter. As a result, many people do not get sufficient vitamin D. Seniors can take supplements or purchase food sources with higher calcium levels to combat it, if doctor approved.

What Steps to Take If You Fall

Knowing how best to prevent a fall is important. It is also important for seniors to know what to do in the event that they do fall. If you have already called for assistance using a medical alert device, keep these tips in mind:

Do not get up right away. Getting up too quickly or on your own may lead to further injury. Try to not worry about any feelings of embarrassment. It is better to sit or lie down for a moment to assess how you feel.

Assess for any injuries. If you believe that you are unhurt, roll onto your side. Then, bend your knees toward you and use your arms to push yourself off the ground. Lastly, use your legs as a way to stand again. If you are injured, wait for help to arrive before trying to move.

Medical Alert Systems are Perfect for Winter Protection

Medical alert devices provide protection 24/7/365, year-round. However, these devices become even more important during the winter months. Reviewing Alert1’s diverse products can make the winter months easier on you and your loved ones.

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, many of us have entered into a post-COVID vaccine era. But seniors who have family members working in highly exposed fields may be hesitant to gather in houses together. A medical alert system can help guarantee that someone can always reach professional help if they need assistance.

Alert1 members simply need to push their device’s button if they fall. If they purchase the fall detection feature, a fall can also trigger the device to automatically send an alert. Once either option occurs, the emergency response team will stay on the line until further help arrives. Alert1 does not charge its members for any multiple button pushes or “false alarms.”

Anyone can fall during the winter, especially with an abundance of slippery surfaces. It makes sense to look into a medical alert system that works best for your lifestyle and budget. Seniors can also proactively advocate for themselves by finding the most suitable medical alert technology. By exploring your options, you can minimize dangers. That way, you can enter each new season feeling happy and healthy, as well as feeling safe and secure.



[1] Mai, H.J. 2021, Feb. 13. Winter storms across the country bring snow and ice to millions of Americans. National Public Radio. Winter storms across the country bring snow and ice to millions of Americans.

[2] Venugopal, Manila. 2017, Oct. 25. Are Seniors Really More at Risk of Falling in Winter? Are Seniors Really More at Risk of Falling in Winter?

[3] American Bone Health. 2016, Oct. 4. Tips to Prevent Falls During Winter Months. Tips to Prevent Falls During Winter Months.