WALLINGFORD, Conn., Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With decreasing temperatures and winter approaching, Stannah Stairlifts cautions that snow and ice can possibly cause an increase in slip and fall accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it's estimated that falls account for roughly $31 billion in accrued medical costs each year. Moreover, falls become increasingly dangerous in the later stages of life. An icy walkway transforms from a minor nuisance into a hazardous road block and injuries caused by falls can have lasting effects that carry on throughout life.
"It is unfortunately not uncommon to see a previously active person experience a rapid decline in overall health due to complications from a fall," said Susan Wile Schwarz, director of communications, The Global Coalition on Aging. According to The Global Coalition on Aging, simple home alterations such as increasing the brightness of lighting, fitting your shower with grab bars or installing a stair lift, can help decrease your chance of falling. For example, these modifications can help an individual with an altered sense of perception due to dementia reduce the risk of falls and remain in their home longer. There are also some lesser known ways to lower fall risk. Many elderly people and their caregivers may not be aware of the connection between their overall health and proper skin care and nourishment. "Poor skin health can cause a decrease in sensory perception," added Schwarz. "With less sensation in our feet and legs, we are a greater risk of falling and injuring ourselves." According to Schwarz, this risk is particularly pronounced in those with diabetes and other conditions that negatively impact these nerves.