Have you noticed that it’s getting darker a lot earlier in the evenings these days? By the time it’s about 6:30 p.m., the sun is down. And that’s only going to get worse once the hours turn back an hour early next month. It’s that time of year. You know – the time when many Canadians utter the words “winter is coming!”
For winter-haters, frigid temperatures are the enemy. However, for care recipients of elderly people, it’s the slippery conditions that present the biggest concerns. So what can be done to prevent seniors from slipping this winter?
Here are three suggestions:
1. Keep them exercising.
We all know that summer is the season of exercise. Or is it? As often as we’ve championed the act of seniors getting in some light exercise each day, we’ve stressed the fact that workouts can be done indoors as well. We all know that, right? But how many of us practice it? Staying fit is a key to optimum health for people of all ages. The more you keep yourself active, the stronger you are and the easier it will be to maintain your balance in icy conditions.
“It’s hard to stay motivated to exercise when you’re homebound,” admits Comfort Keepers, “But lots of indoor exercises can keep you fit when you can’t venture out. Stand at a counter and do knee-bends, or practice balancing on one leg (always near something you can grab if necessary). March in place, or stand up from a couch, sit down and stand again to help keep legs strong.”
2. Watch your step when exiting a vehicle.
For elderly individuals who may already be a bit unsteady on their feet, it’s best to use a car door as leverage when getting out of the car. Hold on to it until you’ve gotten yourself to a fully upright position. Be sure that you are steady and stable before letting go and beginning to walk. You never know how slippery the surface is outside of the car in the area where it’s parked.
“Exercise caution when getting into and out of vehicles,” instructs SeniorDirectory.com, “Always hold securely to a door or another person.” The site also cautions seniors to walk along paths of least resistance. “Look for the safest route to your location, including the paths into buildings,” it advises, “Choose alternate routes when necessary.”
3. Look for products that could keep you safe.
“You can find ideas by visiting websites, at orthopedic stores and through your visiting nurse or physician,” informs Comfort Keepers, “Shoe chains are an example. These products fit on the bottom of shoes, adding traction for walking outdoors in snow and ice.”
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we would also highly recommend installing a porch lift in front of your home if getting up the stairs is particularly difficult for your elderly loved one. Remove the risk of slipping and falling on the stairs altogether!
For more information about the porch lifts offered by LifeCare Mobility Solutions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at [email protected]. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!