Winter is Coming
Autumn weather can unexpectedly turn into a snowy, wintry mix. Friends Life Care is proud to have a committee made of industry professionals who are dedicated to reducing falls within our member community as the weather changes. This committee is pleased to share with you their findings on products and tips that can keep you safer this winter.
Last year, Friends Life Care members experienced more than three dozen slips, trips and slides on ice or snow. Many of these falls were due to loss of balance while slipping on snowy or icy surfaces outside.
Please reconsider the urgency of going out after a snowfall or in icy conditions.
If you must venture out, check out some of these products to help you decrease the likelihood of a fall from environmental factors. This list of products are suggestions for your consideration and are not the only available ones. Please do your own research for the best items to meet your needs as you plan to stay healthy and safe in winter weather!
- Reduce your chances of a sprained back clearing the walkway with a spring-assisted shovel.
- Add a metal tip to your cane or walker for enhanced stability while getting around.
- If you are going to be walking the dog in wintry weather, or just out enjoying the winter wonderland, adding ice cleats to your footwear is a good idea.
- Examine and renew your boots. Make sure they have good tread, fit well, and are easy to get on and off. High traction boots that combine a comfortable fit with added traction may be a good investment.
- Trekking poles may provide for added balance as you navigate through your day this winter.
- Using a backpack to carry items will leave your arms free for balance.
The government of Alberta, Canada shares some excellent tips for winter walking:
- Plan ahead to make sure you have enough time to get where you’re going.
- Assume that all wet, dark areas on the pavement may be slippery or icy. If you can, walk around them.
- Walk on cleared walkways—avoid shortcuts that haven’t been cleared.
- Don’t text or talk on your phone and walk at the same time.
- Use handrails on stairs and ramps. If you’re walking on a slope where there are no handrails, be extra careful.
- Spread sand or grit on your steps and walkways. You could also try carrying a small container of sand or grit to sprinkle on icy or sloped surfaces that you can’t walk around.
- Keep your hands out of your pockets.
- Learn how to walk more safely on ice.
Compiled and contributed by the Friends Life Care Wellness & Care Coordination team for members and friends.
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