Temperatures across Iowa are expected to remain below-normal for several more days and so will the slick sidewalks, driveways and parking lots. Kevin Bultena is a physical therapist in Webster City and says everyone needs to be more cautious when they’re venturing outdoors.
“Certainly at this time of year we need to be doubly careful out walking on the snow and ice,” Bultena says. “Falls can happen so quick, you have to be on your guard really all the time.” Bultena says the hospital where he works has been much busier in recent weeks handling cases of people who were injured in falls.
“One in three people over the age of 65 will have a fall in any given year,” Bultena says. “One out of ten of those that fall will suffer a life-changing injury that will rob them of some of their independence. Overall, it results in costs to national health care societies of over $28-billion.” The hazards aren’t just outside either. Simple things inside your house could prompt a tumble, too.
“Throw rugs tend to catch toes, they catch walkers or canes,” he says. “Surprisingly, we can make this recommendation but it’s one that — people are very resistent to moving a throw rug that’s been there for years. They can take some convincing.” Other areas for caution in the home include the bathroom, the shower and the bedroom. For more information, visit the National Council on Aging website at: www.ncoa.org
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City