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Prep Before You Step; Winter Mobility ChecklistPosted Nov 23, 2017
It is now the time of year when we are digging out our snow shovels, dusting off our winter coats and boots, and wishing we had gotten our snow tires on sooner. It’s nearing the end of November, which means we are reluctantly preparing for the bitter winter ahead.
In the midst of rummaging through our coat closets and rushing through gift stores, we often take for granted our steady feet and the solid ground below us.
Winter doesn’t just bring the magic of Christmas, but the hazards of icy walkways, arthritic hands, and other cold weather triggered conditions. All these things combined lead to an influx of falls and the injuries that go with them.
Aside from relying on our doctor’s advice, there isn’t much we can do about Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, and the host of other conditions that may leave us susceptible to injuries. However, we can prepare in other ways:
• Do your shoes/boots have proper tread?
• Is your cane/walking stick handy?
• If you have broken a hip in the past, or have fragile bones, have you tried hip protectors (foam or plastic shields sewn into undergarments that absorb the force of a fall)?
What are you Walking on?
• Check the weather before going out – are the roads icy? Is the snow sticking?
• Are your steps shovelled and salted?
If You Don’t Use it, You Lose it.• Have you asked your physiotherapist about balance exercises you can do?
• Are you able to walk steadily indoors? If you are struggling indoors, chances are outdoor walking conditions will prove more difficult.
If your responses to the above questions make for the perfect storm of fall risks; don’t hesitate to ask someone to travel with you.
• Do you have a friend or family member with strong mobility that you can partner up with?
• If help isn’t available, have you thought about getting a home support worker to go out with you? Yes, we can do that.