Winter can be an enjoyable time of the year. However, for seniors it can be a potentially hazardous time. Here are some tips to help to ensure safety during the cold and frosty season.
Check your outerwear. Look over your footwear. How are the soles? Is it time for new shoes or boots? Getting better traction with appropriate foot gear can help keep you more stable on snowy or icy surfaces. For winter conditions rubber soles are the best recommendation. Make sure your field of vision is unobstructed. Do not wear any caps or hats that cover the eyes. Make sure that any coat or outerwear is snug enough that you can easily see where you are stepping. Also ensure that scarves and belts don't drag on the ground so as to prevent tripping.
Keep the salt and shovel in your home. Salt and shovels are there so you don't have to walk on an icy sidewalk or carport. If you have to walk through the ice and snow to get to your garage for salt and a shovel then that increases a fall risk.
Check any railings. If you have railings going to your front door, make sure they are solidly attached. Sturdy support is important if you were to slip.
If you leave the house carry a cell phone. It may be hard to get up if you were to fall. Having a cell phone with you can help you summon aid if necessary.
Take it slow. Allow more time for your travels if winter conditions exist. Don't push yourself beyond what your balance can handle in adverse weather conditions. Being safe and a little late is a lot safer than falling and not making it to your destination at all.
Request help. Try to arrange for a steady arm to lean on if you need to walk across a slippery parking lot or traverse an icy sidewalk. If you ask someone you will find that most people are more than happy to help an older person through potentially treacherous conditions. If shoveling your sidewalk or carport is also important make arrangements with a friendly neighbor beforehand to do the work.
Plan. When you are out and about in pleasant weather ask yourself, "If I were to fall here in bad weather conditions what would I do?"
Find alternate routes. For instance, sometimes you can walk on the snowy grass if the sidewalks are too dangerous.