BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Each year, millions of people fall, especially those who are 65 and older. This year, the icy conditions are putting even more people at risk, no matter their age.
Poland’s Pat Bundy, who is a firefighter in Youngstown, has a long recovery ahead of him after a recent fall.
“I felt the bone break before I hit the ground,” he said.
Bundy describes the moment he slipped and fell on ice while shoveling at the fire station, cracking his fibula.
“Once I hit the transition, I must have still had snow on my shoe. I never had my footing,” he said.
Bundy says he has never had any trouble walking, but this year, the ice got the best of him.
“It was just a transition from brushed concrete going up to polished concrete. It was just a change in the material that I was walking on,” he said.
Bundy says the fire department has seen a lot of these types of calls over the past couple of weeks.
“Especially right after a storm of some sort, people outside shoveling their walks and their drives and slipping and falling,” Bundy said. “It’s definitely a noticeable uptick.”
But just as Bundy reminds us that anyone can be susceptible to a fall, the elderly are more at risk. The CDC says more than one out of four older people fall each year, and falling once doubles your chances of falling again. That’s why experts say we should look out for loved ones and neighbors.
“If you have a plow on your car and you’re driving by and you notice that maybe that elderly neighbor or at the end of the street you know that Mary may live there and she doesn’t have anybody who’s checking on her, go and just plow it for them and throw some salt down,” said Cassandra Valentini, with Direction Home of Eastern Ohio.
The CDC also says that many people who fall, even if they’re not injured, become afraid of falling.
“Not be scared anymore … Or simple things they can do at home to keep up their strength so that if they do have a fall, they can recover,” Valentini said.
Bundy underwent surgery and is now recovering in a cast but says it’s always important to pay attention on the ice no matter how old you are.
For more information from the CDC on how to prevent falls or recover after one, head over to their website to learn more about home and recreational safety.