Stay safe this fall: Avoid slip and falls

Leaves changing brilliant colors and dropping to the ground are sure signs that a beautiful autumn is here — and a sure way to turn sidewalks into a fall hazard.

“Wet leaves are the equivalent of ice,” says Deborah Ludwig, PT, Manager of Rehab Services at Mercy Home Health. “Inside, on tile or wood floors, wet shoes are like ice skates.”

To safely move around inside or outside as the air turns damp and cooler, Ludwig recommends:

  • Pre-plan your route with extra time.
  • If in doubt about whether a leaf-covered sidewalk or crosswalk is wet, assume it is.
  • Avoid wet, leaf-covered steps if possible. If not, use handrails or a companion’s arm for balance.
  • If you use a cane or walker, clean the bottom rubber tips where leaves and gravel collect.
  • Use a non-skid mat inside your front door. Trade wet shoes for a pair you wear only inside, with clean, dry soles.

STAY SAFE For more fall prevention tips, visit or call Mercy Home Health at 1.888.690.2551.

We have doctors and programs that can benefit your health. Find a Doctor on our website or call 1.877.GO MERCY to learn more.