The winter weather always heightens the risk of injury along slippery sidewalks, especially for those with mobility issues. Whether it’s climbing stairs or making your way down a ramp, it can be a challenge to stay safe and avoid accidents. But with the right preparation and tips to follow, you or your loved one can embrace the winter weather, accident-free.
Keep Exits Clean and Cleared
It is crucial that your entrances and exits to your home are kept clean and cleared throughout the winter. Whether stairs or a ramp, those areas leading up and down from your home are easy targets for icy conditions to develop and cause potential danger for slip and falls. So if you can get a relative or neighbour to help clear off that snow and apply salt, or even if you have to hire someone to do it – it’s always important to have a clear path to travel. Stairs and pathways should be shovelled and deiced. The maintenance of other surfaces such as a wood wheelchair ramp or rubber ramp will depend on the instructions of the manufacturer or installer.
Check and Maintain Mobility Equipment
When you rely on mobility equipment to safely transport you to and from your destinations each day, it’s imperative that they don’t falter. Take the time to have your power wheelchair, manual wheelchair, rollator, or mobility scooter inspected and maintained for a tune-up if necessary before winter sets in. Bring your device to MEDability for preventative maintenance to check the brakes and battery. Always store your mobility device safety and wipe down excess moisture to prevent rust.
One popular addition for wheelchairs during the winter are wheel blades. These attach with a click and glide smoothly on snow on ice improve mobility and safety during wintery conditions. While we recommend avoiding the outdoors if possible on the worst days, when you venture out in milder conditions these wheelchair accessories can make the trek easier.
Create an Emergency Kit
An emergency kit is always helpful to have on hand. Consider placing fully charged batteries for the mobility chair, a warm blanket, and some non-perishable snacks such as granola bars and trail mix, and water, just in case you should ever get stuck somewhere due to the winter weather. Keep your cell phone fully charged and always alert someone has to your travel plans.
Preparation for The Winter
Adequate preparation is always a must to decrease the potential of accidents occurring. If you or a loved one does depend on a wheelchair or even a cane, always make sure that they wheels are adjusted for winter conditions, along with the grips beneath the cane. Having appropriate grip on any mobility equipment is crucial for avoiding slips. You may also want to consider using warmer grip gloves to protect your hands. We offer a range of safety products for the winter months, include AMG Hugo Ice Grips for improved traction and AMG Hugo Snow Paws for safer walking on ice and snow.
Although it can feel daunting each time you have to head out into the winter weather, you shouldn’t let it limit your mobility. With the right preparations tactics, you can embrace the season and stay safe.