Recently we published an article all about beautiful, sunny Australia. Today, we’re heading in a different direction and for those of our followers located in Canada (and/or much of northern United States) we’ll be writing about a topic much closer to home and that is, the weather! We heard a statistic not too long ago that suggested Canadians talk about the weather with strangers more than any other country in the world. Perhaps that’s because, as the saying goes: “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes ‘cause it’s likely to change!”
Certainly, the spring and fall, in particular, see extreme temperature changes from the beginning of the day to the end of it but in winter, it’s usually pretty consistently cold and as Canadians know – there will be snow! Amintronians are savvy, smart and know how to stay safe in the winter but just in case you need a refresher – here are our:
Top 5 Snow Safety Tips
- Regardless of the shape you are in, physiologically seniors face a higher rate of susceptibility to hypothermia and/or frostbite. Being in the cold for an extended period of time (while shoveling a driveway for example) can lead to an increased risk of hypothermia as your body temperature can fall more quickly as we age. If you’re feeling tired, confused, weak, or have problems breathing you could be experiencing hypothermia. When it comes to frostbite the trick is to reduce the length of time of your exposure and to be sure all exposed skin is covered up at all times.
- Speaking of snow shoveling – this is one of the greatest risks faced by seniors. While anyone can have a heart attack (due to a variety of factors) the reality is seniors are at greater risk. If budget allows this might be the one time to splurge and hire a snow removal service. Many don’t have that option however so here’s how to reduce your risk: Hearts work harder in the cold so take your time and go slow. Your heart is already working harder than it would in a warm environment. Take frequent breaks, stay hydrated (we don’t think to drink water in the cold but we should) and focus on smaller, more manageable shovel loads of snow. Trying to lift an enormous load of heavy snow just isn’t smart for anyone’s heart – or back!
- Falls – the risk of a slip and fall either indoors or outdoors is obviously much greater this time of year. Outside make sure you’re wearing good, sturdy and well-soled boots and shoes, no matter how unfashionable! Now is not the time to think about looks but rather to focus on warm winter boots perhaps even with ice grippers on them. Consider “walking like a penguin” with a more flat-footed gait that places your whole foot on the ground at once, forcing you to walk slower, more of a shuffle than a stride. Inside, be cautious in stores and restaurants, pharmacies and anywhere you frequent, especially when you first step in the doors. Mats might absorb most of the snow and ice but all those customers have wet shoes/boots so the first few feet into a store might still be very wet and therefore slippery.
- If exercise is on your mind that’s great but consider taking a cane with you – even if you don’t normally use one, or a set of ski poles to provide extra support and help with balance. You might even consider an ice pick on the bottom for extra grip!
- Mall walking! We’ve touched on this before. Mall walking is an excellent way to meet new people and Amintro is all about making friends! It’s also a safe, smart way to get in your daily does of exercise without being at risk of a fall in the snow.
While it might sound obvious to say, more than anything, senior safety is about slowing down a little bit and keeping our eyes wide open. That’s true for anyone really. Perhaps winter is nature’s way of reminding us all to slow down, take our time and to exercise caution in all that we do whether that’s walking, driving or shoveling the snow. While we’re at it – let’s acknowledge that winter sometimes brings out the best in us such as when a neighbour offers to shovel our driveway or a stranger cleans the snow off our car in a parking lot. Canadians are a friendly bunch and at Amintro we help people make new friends. If you want to avoid the snow – sign up online with us today. It’s fast, simple and you can do it from the comfort of your own living room – no snow shoveling required!