Winter in Alberta can be beautiful, but it can also be dangerous because of icy sidewalks and low visibility on the roads. Fear of having an accident can keep some seniors house-bound which can prevent them from enjoying social activities and connections. Here are some steps you can take to stay safe while enjoying this chilly time of year.
Prevent falls on your walkways
Wear non-skid shoes and make sure your walkway is shoveled, salted and/or sanded. Keep your hands out of your pockets and free while you walk. If you slip and fall on ice, you need to have your hands free to break your fall. Don’t keep them in your pockets, where you won’t get them out in time.
Additionally, avoid carrying things while you walk so you can have your hands ready in the case of an accident. This will also help you keep your balance and avoid falling in the first place.
Take precautions when shovelling
It’s important to warm up before you start shoveling. Shoveling is a workout in itself! Just like you would at the gym, warming up before shoveling could prevent back and muscle injuries. Take frequent breaks while shovelling and don’t be afraid to ask family, friends or neighbours to help!
Seniors are more susceptible to the cold because of medical conditions. If you live with diabetes or arthritis or have had a stroke, those medical conditions can contribute to loss of body heat. Check with your doctor to understand your risks of hypothermia.
Drive safely or book a ride with Drive Happiness
If you are hesitant to drive in winter conditions, you should only drive when it is absolutely necessary. Better yet, book a ride with Drive Happiness! We can give you rides anytime and anywhere. Our screened and vetted volunteer drivers take seniors wherever they want to go, 7 days a week. Please call us at 780-424-5438 or visit us online at drivehappiness.ca.
Have a safe and happy winter!
Written by Shannon Gill, Executive Director, Drive Happiness