In the home...
- When using a space heater, keep objects at least 3 feet away
- Use a fireplace screen for wood burning fireplaces
- Make sure to install and have new batteries in a carbon monoxide detector if using a space heater, gas or wood burning fireplace
- Make sure to have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it
- Avoid winter depression: set up a phone or contact system with friends and family so you’re always in touch!
- Make sure to get up every hour on a cold day to keep stiff joints mobile and minimize risk of falling both in and outdoors
- Get a pair of boots with a good sturdy tread pattern. Be sure they fit you well also.
- Wear multiple layers; synthetic materials (polyester) wick sweat better than natural fibers (cotton), this will prevent overheating
- Stay hydrated! Once you start exerting, you will begin to dehydrate (even if you aren’t sweating); this could lead to lightheadedness
- WARNING SIGNS OF FROSTBITE: progressive numbness and tingling in extremities, followed by loss of any sensation. Skin will begin to blanche and eventually turn a purple-gray color.
- For assistive devices: use of a built-up spike on the base of your cane, attachment piece can be added.
- Keep a safety kit in the car: snacks, flashlight, water, extra blanket, salt or kitty litter; especially for longer car trips
- Keep the outdoor areas well lit to avoid stepping on ice or slippery snow
- Warm-up before shoveling or snow removal: march in place for a few minutes then stretch arms, legs and back muscles
- Use the right shovel for you.
- The right shovel should allow you to bend at the knees part-way
- Keep shovel close to your body
- Avoid twisting! Rotate at the feet, not the trunk
- Get help when you can and remember to move slowly!
- LIFT WITH YOUR LEGS, NOT WITH YOUR BACK!
- Take as many breaks as you need
- Call a friend or family member if you cannot remove snow or travel safely on your own.
- Use plenty of driveway salt or kitty litter to keep driveway and walkways clear.
- Avoid black ice, it’s shiny and just appears to be wet pavement.
- TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS, IF YOU DON’T FEEL SAFE, DON’T DO IT!