Taking a quick walk is a refreshing and enjoyable way to enjoy the beauty of the winter season, yet provide some much needed healthy exercise from being cooped up inside. However, winter has its challenges when it comes to getting around – Freezing rain, icy patches and mounds of snow can be dangerous for an innocent pedestrian.
With help from The Canada Safety Council, we’ve compiled a list of simple senior tips to make it safer to walk in winter weather. Whether it’s placing sand or salt on walkways, or wearing the proper footwear – it makes a huge difference to your safety. The long-term consequences can be devastating with just one bad fall. These include: chronic pain in the affected area; a disabling injury that may lead to loss of independence; fear of another fall that prevents a healthy and active lifestyle.
Winter Safety Tips for Seniors:
- Clear ice and snow from entrance ways and sidewalks. Contact your landlord, local home support agency or community services for help with snow removal, transportation, and grocery bus services.
- Carry extra sand or non-clumping cat litter, in a small accessible bag or in your pocket to sprinkle on icy sidewalks, steps, bus stops, etc.
- Wear a thick hat, scarf, and gloves to prevent heat loss. Put on more than one layer to help keep you warmer.
- Wear a good pair of winter boots. Look for insulated and waterproof features to keep your feet warm and dry. Ensure they’re lightweight and have a thick non-slip tread sole made of natural rubber.
- Keep your balance with a cane, a pair of ski poles or walking sticks. Speak to your doctor or local pharmacist to show you how to properly use a cane and to get it fitted correctly for your height.
- If you need further support, use a walker. Talk to your doctor for more information and inquire about costs being covered by government programs.
- Wear a hip protector for added protection to help against fractures and provide additional confidence.
- Make yourself more visible. Wear bright colors or add reflective material to clothing to help drivers and other pedestrians see you.
- If in need, always ask a passer-by to help you across an icy surface.