Winter Walking Tips for Seniors
Lower Your Risk of Falling
The Canadian Institute for Health Information reports that last year 4 out of 5 visits to the hospital by seniors were due to slips, trips and falls. Cold weather, freezing rain and snow can put seniors and persons with limited mobility at increased risk.
When the ground is frozen, ground frost and ice can make it slippery for walking. No matter how well the snow is removed from parking lots, walkways or sidewalks, there will still be slippery places.
What you wear on your feet can help lower your risk of falling.
1. Ensure your boots or shoes are properly fitted and have grippy soles. Special items like shoe grips can give you extra traction when you’re walking on snowy or icy surfaces. However, these items should be removed while inside as they can contribute to falling indoors on floor surfaces. If you are using a cane check your tips and consider getting a tip that is for snow or ice.
2. Keeping within your abilities should always be on your mind. Don't overdo it and always exercise caution. Take small steps, walk slowly and if possible point your toes out slightly to be more stable on icy walkways. Keep your hands free of electronic devices and out of your pockets. This will help you keep your balance and help during slips or near misses.
3. Be aware of black ice. While the walkways might look clear, they can have spots of ice which can be hard to see. Be alert and keep your eyes open.
4. Planning ahead can make a big difference. Leaving with plenty of time to spare can prevent hurrying and making split decisions that can cause issues. Part of the planning process should be to communicate with a loved one as to where you are going and when you will be back. Of course, the best practice would be to bring a loved one or caregiver along.
5. Dress the part. Check your local conditions through a weather application, television, social media or step outside. Gloves, toque, boots, scarf and sweaters should be considered based on the weather and your individual needs. Dressing in layers will allow you to add or remove clothing as needed.
Did you know Lions Gate Home Care provides personal supports that include accompaniment during errands, walks and appointments? Snow, rain or sunshine we will be there every time. Need more info? Call us 24/7 (604) 980-6350 for a free healthcare assessment.