As much of the nation is headed into, if not already feeling, the coldest time of the year, it’s a good idea to make sure that anyone who uses mobility equipment such as knee walkers or wheelchairs are fully prepared. Depending on the severity of your mobility needs, winter preparedness can vary from case to case, but there are some basic steps you can take to be sure you enjoy a safe winter.
Make arrangements with family members or an aid for help.
If you are in a situation where you already have a visiting or live-in aid that helps with your needs, take the time to go over safety needs for cold and nasty weather. If you don’t have such ready assistance, contact family members or friends to ask if they would be willing to be called upon in the event that you need extra assistance during these cold months.
Allow extra time for your travels.
While many people facing mobility issues already have to factor extra time in for their travels, winter traveling may require even more added time. The threat of treacherous sidewalks, slow and cautious traffic, and even stalled cars means that winter travel can be unpredictable and dangerous. Be sure you allow yourself more time to get to where you’re going.
Have a Back-Up Exit Plan.
Winter weather makes it hard for anyone to head out…particularly those that depend on wheelchair ramps to exit their homes. In the event that your usual exit is blocked or inaccessible, try to have a back-up in mind. If there is no available secondary exit in your home, this is another place you can rely on friends or family for help.
Try to get errands and visits done during the daylight hours.
As temperatures drop towards late afternoon, roads become more unpredictable and dangerous. Because of this, check your local weather and try to get all of your errands and travel done during the warmer hours of the day.
Seek Out Special Aid in Your Area
Public shelters and local organizations may offer special aid to those with disability in the event of winter emergencies. Call ahead and check with these organizations, though, as some require registration. Do some digging to see if your community offers this sort of assistance.
Make sure to follow these steps and you should be well prepared for the coming winter.