10 Winter Safety Tips for Wheelchairs and Walkers
Sometimes the best option is staying home.
But if you are going out, be safe!
Navigating ice and snow can be a challenge, and using a wheelchair or a walker adds a new layer of difficulty. But don’t shut yourself away. Here are 10 tips from Village Outpatient Therapy to help you stay safe when you venture out.
1. Be Sure Your Equipment is Winter-Ready
Give your mobility device a good cleaning before bad weather sets in. This gives you a chance to assess its current condition and make any repairs or adjustments so you’ll have good control in winter weather.
2. Perform Routine Maintenance
Be sure to check the condition of your wheels and brakes, and consider covering your handles with something to protect hands from the cold metal.
3. Clear the Way
To avoid slipping, have someone clear snow and ice from your ramp, sidewalks, and driveway.
4. Is Your Ramp Winter-Ready?
If your ramp isn’t made of a slip-resistant material, add some non-slip tape for better traction.
5. Dress the Part
Wear sturdy shoes, and dress in layers so that you can remove clothing when you’re hot, and add clothing when you start to feel cold. BONUS TIP: Be extra careful to cover any parts of your body which have impaired sensation.
6. Walk This Way
Though sneakers are comfy in nice weather, the added traction from sturdy shoes or proper snow boots will help keep you stay stable and safe.
7. Don’t Forget Your Helper
Remind your helper to dress appropriately, too, so they don’t slip and fall while helping you.
8. Light it Up
It gets dark earlier in winter, so make sure you can see—and be seen. Clip-on flashlights, reflectors and dressing in lighter colors can help, or wear a high-visibility vest like those workers at the side of the road.
9. Keep your “wheels” warm
When you are not using your device, store it inside rather than in an unheated garage, carport, or shed. Freezing temperatures can harm batteries.
10. Stay Smart and Safe
Always use your best judgment about when to venture out. If you do go out alone, use the “buddy system” and let someone know where you’re going and what route you’ll be taking. Then call or text when you’re safely home.
Caring for patients from miles around!
Village Outpatient Therapy is passionate about helping people from the surrounding metro area – as well as John Knox Village residents – interact with their world with as much confidence and independence as possible.
Located near 50 Highway and Chipman Rd., in Lee’s Summit, the clinic’s team provides physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy in our outpatient care clinic. We understand how mature bodies respond differently, and are aware of injuries, disorders and disease processes common to older adults.
Medicare and most health insurances accepted. | A physician referral is needed to start our services. We can help.