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4 Tips To Help Older Adults Navigate Autumn’s Rough Terrain

With October now well underway, the fall season is in full swing. As we all know, the autumn season introduces us to vibrant foliage, cool breezes and pumpkin-spiced everything! It is undoubtedly a favourite time of year for many. However, for seniors, some unique challenges are presented. Fallen leaves can create rough terrain. As a result, both older adults and individuals with mobility issues must pay special attention to their footing.

Here are four tips to help older adults navigate autumn’s rough terrain:

1. Wear sturdy and supportive footwear.

It can be argued that the first step to avoiding slips and falls is to choose the right footwear. Safely navigating rough terrain during the fall starts with wearing shoes or boots with non-slip soles. They are known to provide stability and reduce the risk of slipping on wet leaves or uneven surfaces. Make sure your shoes fit well and offer ample arch support to prevent fatigue during extended walks or hikes.

“The size and comfort of a shoe often go hand in hand,” insists Oakville’s Seasons Retirement Communities, “So, before settling on a pair of walking shoes, ensure they are the right size to prevent restrictions or too much looseness on the feet. These can make walking and standing uncomfortable for older adults.”

2. Be on high leaf alert.

Yes, we know that fall foliage is beautiful. Remember, however, that those colourful leaves can be a slippery hazard. Wet leaves can be especially treacherous. Be sure to take extra care when walking over them. Use your cane or walking pole to clear a path and avoid stepping on piles of leaves whenever possible. As well, keep an eye out for hidden hazards, like roots or rocks concealed beneath the leaves.

ConsidraCare also stresses that fallen leaves can make roads, sidewalks and other walking areas very dangerous for older people. “Rake up the leaves and any other accumulated debris with care to reduce the risk of falling in these areas,” advises their website, “A live-in caregiver can rake for the senior in their care.”

3. Plan your routes carefully.

Choose paths or trails that are well-maintained and less likely to have rough terrain. If you’re unsure about a particular route, seek advice from local walking or hiking groups or ask friends and family for recommendations. It’s always a good idea to let someone know your plans and expected return time when heading into nature.

Also, remember that slow and steady wins the race! There is no rush to reach your destination. Give yourself ample time to enjoy the vibrant scenery and be sure to rest when needed. By moving at your own pace, you will significantly reduce the risk of accidents.

4. Utilize a mobility scooter.

A mobility scooter is a cost-effective alternative to an electric wheelchair. Its primary use is for a user that needs assistance travelling longer distances. A mobility scooter can have three or four wheels, a place for the driver to rest his/her feet and a steering column to control the turning and direction of the scooter.

Mobility scooters are great solutions for those without the stamina or arm/shoulder flexibility necessary to comfortably operate a manual wheelchair. They allow users to travel safely and confidently throughout their communities.

To learn all about the mobility scooters offered by LifeCare Mobility Solutions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at info@lifecaremobility.ca. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!

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