Full of snow, ice, and rain- winter is an accident-prone season for seniors.
That’s why it’s crucial to take safety precautions to help your senior stay upright when walking outdoors.
Here are 8 tips to help your senior stay on his or her feet this winter!
If your senior is living at home, make sure they can get in and out of the house easily by salting the driveway. Depending on the weather, you may have to do this the night before. Salt will help melt any slippery ice on the driveway, making a clear path for your senior.
Having appropriate footgear is one of the number one ways to reduce the risk of falling or slipping. Make sure your senior has a good pair of snow boots or rain boots that can really grip into the ground. If your senior has an older pair of boots, be sure the sole is still sturdy and hasn’t smoothed out over the years.
If your senior has the option to walk next to a railing outdoors, always encourage him or her to do so. If there are no railings around, have your senior walk next to large and/or stable objects. This gives seniors something to grab onto in case they lose their balance.
Similarly, it’s good practice for seniors to walk with their hands out of their pockets. This way, they can use their free hands to catch themselves if need be. Just be sure your senior is wearing gloves or holding handwarmers, so their hands don’t get too cold.
Walk slowly and carefully with your senior. There’s no need to rush. If you’re worried about ice or black ice, use your foot to lightly tap out the area in front of you. This will give you and your senior an idea if there is ice in front without fulling stepping onto it.
It’s important that your senior be able to see where he or she is stepping. Especially, if you have stairs or any uneven ground out in front. To avoid falls at night, make sure you have some kind of outdoor lighting, and check that the bulbs are all working fine.
If you have any cracks, holes, or unevenness in your driveway- now is the time to get them fixed. Once the snow comes down and the ice spreads out, those small faults in the driveway become a huge safety hazard for your senior.
Encourage your senior to take small steps as he or she walks. Taking large steps forces you to put fast and heavy pressure on your feet- which is quite dangerous in slippery weather. Instead, seniors should walk outdoors with small, but steady steps to keep themselves well balanced as they go.
Keep a towel by the front door to wipe up any melting ice or snow. It’s all too common to have a small puddle in the front of the house during the winter months as snow and rain fall off your shoes. Keep a towel handy by the front door to wipe up any liquid on the floor so that your senior won’t have a chance to slip on anything wet.