Walking (safely) in a winter wonderland

Jackie Hays talks with an expert at Norton Audubon Hospital who has some excellent ideas on keeping all of us safe

Avoid slips on ice this winter

Winter is upon us and walking in snow and ice can be treacherous. However, there are things you can do to prepare your home and yourself to brave the elements safely.

Be sure to wear boots with good traction (tread) when you go outdoors. Rubber or neoprene soles provide better traction on snow and ice than leather or plastic. Avoid shoes with smooth soles.

If you have to walk over slippery surfaces, bend your body slightly forward, take shorter steps and shuffle your feet for better stability. Ask someone to spread sand or salt on your sidewalks and driveway, or find a snow-removal service. Snow shoveling is a very strenuous activity that many seniors should avoid, especially those with heart conditions.

Be careful getting in and out of the car. Check the pavement for ice, especially black ice, before stepping out of the car.

Always use floor mats when entering buildings to remove moisture from shoes and to keep indoor floors dry and less slippery.

“Many seniors will become fearful after near falls or even mild injuries from a fall,” said Dana Granger, physical therapist at Norton Audubon Hospital. This can lead to a cycle of restricted activity, which leads to progressive weakness and repeated falls.

Slips and Falls


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