About a month ago, we posted a blog that offered up some winter wheelchair safety tips. At the time, the summer hadn’t even officially ended yet. It may have appeared as if posted the blog too early. However, a short time later, the Calgary area was covered in snow! The moral of the story – it’s never too early to discuss practicing safety during the winter. And this is especially true when discussing our elders and those with mobility issues.
Both seniors and individuals with disabilities must be especially careful during the winter months. Because they may already be contending with diminished strength and problems with balance, being particularly mindful of icy conditions is paramount to their safety. Steps must be taken to avoid slips and falls all winter long. Let’s discuss a few, shall we?
Wear footwear with good traction.
It may be best to ditch those old boots from last year. Depending on their level of wear and tear, your winter boots may need replacing. Your best bet is getting some warm footwear with good tread for your elderly loved one. The better the grip on the pavement, the better his/her chances are of staying upright in icy conditions.
As SeniorDirectory.com strongly recommends, “wear shoes or boots with rough-textured soles that provide good grip in all kinds of weather conditions.” The site also instructs people to clean their shoes every time they go inside. “Snow and ice can freeze onto the soles of shoes and become treacherous, even indoors,” it insists.
Enjoy the great indoors.
We’re definitely not suggesting that you avoid going outside all winter long. No one likes to be cooped up inside no matter how troublesome winter weather can be. However, there will be times during the season when staying in is your best bet. Specifically, if you’re feeling unwell, don’t risk an outdoor excursion.
“Getting out can help cure the winter blues, but know and don’t push your limits,” says Comfort Keepers, “Going out when you’re not at your best is putting yourself at risk for a dangerous fall. Consider utilizing delivery services from pharmacies or grocery stores.”
Plan your excursions ahead of time.
Whenever you intend on venturing outdoors on a particularly snow-filled day, be sure to plan your route. Will you be travelling along familiar paths? Or will you be driving to an unfamiliar destination? Be particularly mindful of your footing in new territory. And consider holding off on your travelling plans if the weather has been precipitation-heavy as of late. Avoiding slippery surfaces altogether is arguably the best way to prevent slips and falls.
“When possible, plan trips around the weather,” says SeniorDirectory.com, “If you do not need to go out, don’t go out. Wait for the weather and travel conditions to become clear. Allow enough time to get where you are going. The chances of falling increase when you rush and use less caution.”
You may also wish to install a porch lift in front of your home if getting up the stairs is particularly difficult for a member of your family. At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we offer porch lifts that are engineered to withstand many weather conditions, from extremely hot, dry temperatures to blistering cold ones. For more information, call us at 403-460-5438 or fill out the form on our Contact page!