Wet and slippery surfaces caused by rain, ice, and snow can be a challenge for everyone but can prove to be an even bigger test for retirees or those who use mobility aids.
Of course, if conditions are treacherous, the best thing to do is stay safely indoors. But if you absolutely must venture outdoors on rainy or snowy days, remember these tips:
- Keep your hands out of your pockets. Not only can you break a fall or grab a railing with your hands, they help you keep your balance.
- Tread on me. Make sure the shoes you are wearing have grippy tread for slippery surfaces. Avoid shoes with heels and slick bottoms.
- When using a mobility aid, such as a cane or crutches, make sure they are equipped with rubber or non-skid surfaces.
- Put the brakes on other aids. If using a mobility aid with wheels, be more attentive to using the brakes.
- Don’t rush it. Take it slow to prevent falls and injuries.
- Don’t bring the slippery in with you. To avoid slipping on wet floors, wipe the water from your shoes and walking aids when returning indoors.
- Take the path more traveled. If it’s snowy, stay on cleared paths and sidewalks. On cold days, assume any wet spot can be a patch of ice. Compare your choice of paths and choose the one that has the fewest obstacles. It may be longer, but it may not be as wet and there may be fewer barriers between you and your destination.
When “rain, rain, (or snow, or sleet) go away” just isn’t working, use these tips to avoid falls and injuries.