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Winter Wisdom for fall prevention

WINTER WISDOM Snow and ice are a reality for all who live in Western Pennsylvania.  For those who have osteoporosis, limited mobility due to age, arthritis or injury, the winter conditions can prove dangerous for falls.  Here are a few simple hints to help you stay safe and healthy through the winter months: Walk this Way:  Wear appropriate footwear.  Use boots or shoes with sturdy winter treads.  Use road salt, sand or kitty litter on sidewalks and driveways. Carry a small bag of this in a coat pocket or keep some in your car so that you can have access to it if needed. For example, you come out of a restaurant and it has become icy.  Ask for help with errands or shopping if it is too slippery for you to think of going outside. Stay Connected:  For many, depression is common in the cold, cloudy months of winter.  Bad weather can mean social isolation to many older people.  Make an effort to get together with friends, family and neighbors.  Invite someone over for tea or coffee, take someone you know who does not get out much to a trip to the store or restaurant.  Give someone a call and connect on the phone.  A little conversation can go a long way.  If approved by your physician, think about adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet to offset the limited sunlight for the winter months.  Vitamin D is vital for many body functions and without direct sun light, it is difficult for the body to make it on its own. Keep your heat on:  Many persons but particularly the...