Avoiding Falls with Kitty Litter and Other Winter Safety Tips

With winter’s cold conditions, it’s more important than ever to prevent falls inside and outside the home.

Ice is of particular concern, especially when temperatures dip into the 30s and below. The risk of slipping and falling on icy patches will only increase until spring arrives, so it’s vital to be looking for ways to prevent falls. What can we do?

According to Mindy Renfro, chair of the American Physical Therapy Association, you should carry around some kitty litter.

Do you mean the stuff that cats go potty in? Yep, it’s absorbent, affordable, and—most importantly—gritty.

Renfro writes at the National Council on Aging, “Encourage older adults to carry a zip-top bag filled with a lightweight kitty litter in their pocket to cast out ahead of themselves on slick surfaces.”

The Council also recommends a few products that help older adults prevent falls and call for help if they do slip.

  • Fall alarm systems, like EasyCall, which are motion-triggered if a fall occurs.
  • Higher toilets in the home.
  • Replace multifocal glasses with single vision eyeglass lenses. Changing between focal lengths can cause a loss of balance in some.
  • Grab-bars in the bathroom and next to outside steps or inside thresholds.
  • Strong railings on both sides of stairways and automatic lights over the stairs.
  • Cover the entryway to the home and provide a table to set down bags while finding keys.
  • Shorter days mean more time in the dark—give your loved ones life small flashlights to attach to keys, hats, and coat buttons.

With a few additions to the home, you can make the wet and icy winter months a litter safer for the senior in your life.